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How to Start an Insurance Company

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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

1. Become a licensed insurance agent

2. write a business plan, 3. choose a business structure, 4. register and license your business, 5. get business insurance, 6. form relationships with insurance companies, 7. grow your client base.

Starting an insurance agency is a lot like starting any business . You’ll need to choose a business structure, register and license your business, get insurance and more.

But you’ll also need to become a licensed insurance agent and learn how to navigate a highly regulated field.

Here’s how to get started.

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You can get an insurance agent license in a matter of weeks or months, depending on the requirements in your state. Here are the steps to follow:

Learn about your state’s licensing process. The National Insurance Producer Registry or your state’s branch of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America can help you understand those specific requirements.

Decide what type of insurance to sell. You can be licensed to sell several different “lines of authority” or types of insurance. The most extensive lines of authority include:

Accident and health or sickness.

The names of these lines of authority may differ in your state. You can be licensed to sell multiple lines of authority. Life and health are often offered as one package, as are property and casualty.

In general, most types of business insurance are property or casualty policies. With a property and casualty license, you can sell personal and commercial insurance . Most agents choose to specialize in one or the other, though.

Take a pre-licensing class. Your coursework should focus on the type of insurance you choose to specialize in. Courses can be done in person or online in most states.

Schedule your licensing exam. These are usually administered at testing centers run by third-party testing companies, which may immediately inform you of the results.

Apply for your license. Submit your licensing application to your state’s governing body. You’ll need to provide personal information, such as your Social Security number, date of birth and residency information, and pay any applicable fees. If your application is approved, you’ll be able to sell insurance products.

If you’re new to selling insurance, you may want to get some experience working for an insurance company or another brokerage before venturing out on your own.

How much do you need?

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We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Your business plan outlines what you want your business to look like and how you plan to get there. The process of writing it should force you to answer complex questions, like what unique value you’ll offer customers and how much money you’ll need to get started.

» MORE: NerdWallet's picks for the best business plan software

Your business structure determines how your business profits are taxed and how your personal and business assets are kept separate, among other things.

There’s also an insurance-specific question you’ll need to answer: Whether you want your insurance agency to work with one specific insurer or with many different providers.

Captive agents (agents who work with a particular insurance company) can benefit from brand recognition and don’t have to convince insurers to work with them. But, on the other hand, they can only sell a limited suite of insurance policies. For example, State Farm works with a network of independent contractor agents who run their agencies but only sell State Farm products.

Many other insurance agency owners are independent agents, selling products from multiple insurance companies. Independent agents might have to work harder to establish and market their brand to customers and insurers, but they can start relationships with many insurance providers.

Before running your business, you’ll need to register with your state, typically with the secretary of state’s office.

Most insurance businesses will probably need to apply for an employer identification number from the IRS. With an EIN, you can open a business checking account .

As part of this process, make sure to obtain a business license, a sales tax permit and any other documents your state or city requires.

Your business entity may also need a license from your state's insurance department. Check your state’s requirements to find out what you need.

» MORE: Everything you need to do to start a business

As an insurance agent, you already know how important it is for your customers to be fully insured. Get business insurance to protect your business assets.

Most insurance companies are likely to need professional liability insurance and general liability insurance . Depending on your agency’s size, location and day-to-day activities, you may also need commercial auto insurance, workers’ compensation insurance and other types of business insurance.

If you’re an independent agent, you’ll need to apply to work with any insurance companies whose products you want to sell. If they approve your application, they’ll grant you an appointment to sell their policies.

It can be challenging to start relationships with insurance companies directly without having several years of experience and a client base.

Joining a professional association, like the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, or an agent network like Smart Choice, can help you access insurance providers to sell their policies. These groups may also provide marketing materials, discounts on your business insurance policies, and other resources.

If you choose to start an independent agency, you may have to hustle for your first few clients. Start by joining your local Chamber of Commerce, attending networking events and advertising in your local market.

Having an online presence is essential, too. Make sure your website clearly outlines what kinds of insurance you sell and the customers you serve. Information about how to contact you should be easy to find.

If you start an agency affiliated with a particular insurance company, you might get referrals as customers seek out agents near them. However, you’ll probably need to do local marketing too.

On a similar note...

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Insurance Agency Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Growthink Insurance Agency Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 3,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their insurance agencies. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through an insurance agency business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Insurance Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your insurance agency as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

home insurance plan

Source of Funding for Insurance Agencies

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for an insurance agency are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate the business.

The second most common form of funding for an insurance agency is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund an insurance agency unless it is based on a unique, scalable technology.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

Your insurance agency business plan should include 10 sections as follows:

Executive Summary

insurance agent

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of insurance agency business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have an insurance agency that you would like to grow, or are you operating multiple insurance agency locations already.

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the insurance agency industry. Discuss the type of insurance agency you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of insurance agency you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types:

  • Direct Writer / Captive : this type of insurance agency only sells one insurance company’s products – like Allstate or State Farm
  • Independent Insurance Agent : this type of insurance agency is privately-owned, and sells policies with may different insurance companies

In addition to explaining the type of insurance agency you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new location openings, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

insurance agency plan

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the insurance industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards weather-related policy purchases, it would be helpful to ensure your plans call for flood insurance options.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your insurance company business plan:

  • How big is the insurance agency business (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key insurance carriers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your insurance agency. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your insurance agency business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, households, businesses, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of insurance agency you operate. Clearly baby boomers would want different pricing and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than recent college graduates.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most insurance agencies primarily serve customers living in their same geographic region, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

Finish Your Insurance Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Insurance Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Competitive Analysis

car insurance plan

Direct competitors are other insurance agencies.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. This includes self pay and public (Medicare, Medicaid in the case of health insurance) insurance or directly working with an insurance carrier. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who purchases insurance does so through an insurance agency.

With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other insurance agencies with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be insurance agencies located in your geographic region.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What products do they offer?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide superior insurance agency products/services?
  • Will you provide insurance agency products that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your products?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For an insurance agency business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of insurance agency that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products/services you will be offering. For example, in addition to P&C insurance, will you also offer life insurance?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the menu items you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your insurance agency. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your insurance agency located next to the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a heavily populated office building, etc. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers.

Promotions : the final part of your insurance agency marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Making your insurance agency’s front store extra appealing to attract passing customers
  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
  • Partnerships with local organizations (e.g., auto dealerships or car rental stores)
  • Local radio advertising
  • Banner ads at local venues

Operations Plan

umbrella policy

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your insurance agency such as serving customers, procuring relationships with insurance carriers, negotiating with repair shops, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to acquire your 500th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.

Management Team

To demonstrate your insurance agency’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in the insurance agency business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in insurance agencies and/or successfully running small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you acquire 20 new customers per month or 50? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your insurance agency location and/or website, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing an insurance agency:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Marketing expenses
  • Website development
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

insurance policy

Insurance Business Plan Summary

Putting together a business plan for your insurance agency is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the insurance agency business, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful insurance agency.

Download Our Insurance Business Plan PDF

You can download our insurance business plan PDF here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Insurance Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my insurance business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Insurance Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Insurance Business Plan.

Where Can I Download an Insurance Business Plan PDF?

You can download our insurance business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Insurance business plan?

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.   Click here to learn about Growthink’s business plan writing services .

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Business Plan Template & Guide for Small Businesses

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Insurance Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Business Plan Outline

  • Insurance Business Plan Home
  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Company Overview
  • 3. Industry Analysis
  • 4. Customer Analysis
  • 5. Competitive Analysis
  • 6. Marketing Plan
  • 7. Operations Plan
  • 8. Management Team
  • 9. Financial Plan

Insurance Agency Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your own business plan.

We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their insurance companies.

Essential Components of a Business Plan For an Insurance Agency

Below we describe what should be included in each section of a business plan for a successful insurance agency and links to a sample of each section:

  • Executive Summary – In the Executive Summary, you will provide a high-level overview of your business plan. It should include your agency’s mission statement, as well as information on the products or services you offer, your target market, and your insurance agency’s goals and objectives.
  • Company Overview – This section provides an in-depth company description, including information on your insurance agency’s history, ownership structure, and management team.
  • Industry Analysis – Also called the Market Analysis, in this section, you will provide an overview of the industry in which your insurance agency will operate. You will discuss trends affecting the insurance industry, as well as your target market’s needs and buying habits.
  • Customer Analysis – In this section, you will describe your target market and explain how you intend to reach them. You will also provide information on your customers’ needs and buying habits.
  • Competitive Analysis – This section will provide an overview of your competition, including their strengths and weaknesses. It will also discuss your competitive advantage and how you intend to differentiate your insurance agency from the competition.
  • Marketing Plan – In this section, you will detail your marketing strategy, including your advertising and promotion plans. You will also discuss your pricing strategy and how you intend to position your insurance agency in the market.
  • Operations Plan – This section will provide an overview of your agency’s operations, including your office location, hours of operation, and staff. You will also discuss your business processes and procedures.
  • Management Team – In this section, you will provide information on your insurance agency’s management team, including their experience and qualifications.
  • Financial Plan – This section will detail your insurance agency’s financial statements, including your profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. It will also include information on your funding requirements and how you intend to use the funds.

Next Section: Executive Summary >

Insurance Agency Business Plan FAQs

What is an insurance agency business plan.

An insurance agency business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your insurance business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can  easily complete your insurance agency business plan using our Insurance Agency Business Plan Template here .

What Are the Main Types of Insurance Companies?

There are a few types of insurance agencies. Most companies provide life and health insurance for individuals and/or households. There are also agencies that specialize strictly in auto and home insurance. Other agencies focus strictly on businesses and provide a variety of liability insurance products to protect their operations. 

What Are the Main Sources of Revenue and Expenses for an Insurance Agency Business?

The primary source of revenue for insurance agencies are the fees and commissions paid by the client for the insurance products they choose.

The key expenses for an insurance agency business are the cost of purchasing the insurance, licensing, permitting, and payroll for the office staff. Other expenses are the overhead expenses for the business office, utilities, website maintenance, and any marketing or advertising fees. 

How Do You Get Funding for Your Insurance Agency Business Plan?

Insurance agency businesses are most likely to receive funding from banks. Typically you will find a local bank and present your business plan to them. Other options for funding are outside investors, angel investors, and crowdfunding sources. This is true for a business plan for insurance agent or an insurance company business plan.

What are the Steps To Start an Insurance Business?

Starting an insurance business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop An Insurance Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed insurance business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.  

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your insurance business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your insurance business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Insurance Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your insurance business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your insurance business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 

7. Acquire Necessary Insurance Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your insurance business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your insurance business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful insurance business:

  • How to Start an Insurance Business

Where Can I Get an Insurance Business Plan PDF?

You can download our free insurance business plan template PDF here . This is a sample insurance business plan template you can use in PDF format.

We earn commissions if you shop through the links below.  Read more

Insurance Agency

Back to All Business Ideas

How to Start an Insurance Agency

Written by: Carolyn Young

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by: David Lepeska

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

Published on May 25, 2022 Updated on February 14, 2024

How to Start an Insurance Agency

Investment range

$2,850 - $6,500

Revenue potential

$60,000 - $300,000 p.a.

Time to build

Profit potential

$54,000 - $90,000 p.a.

Industry trend

Insurance protects the things we own and the people we love, which means it’s a massive industry — worth more than a trillion dollars in the US alone. If you’re an insurance agent, you’re already profiting from it and giving your clients peace of mind, but if you start your own insurance agency you’d have a broader impact, more control and higher income. 

But before you start writing policies, you’ll need to understand the business launch process. Luckily, this step-by-step guide has you covered with all the information you need to launch a lucrative insurance agency. 

Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.

Form your business immediately using ZenBusiness LLC formation service or hire one of the Best LLC Services .

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons.

Starting an insurance agency has pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you. 

  • Good Money – Get healthy commissions on insurance premiums
  • Flexibility – Run your business from home
  • Provide Peace of Mind – Help people protect their possessions and family
  • Crowded Market – The market is saturated with insurance agencies
  • Continuing Education – To meet strict education and licensing requirements

Insurance industry trends

Industry size and growth.

  • Industry size and past growth – The US insurance industry was worth over $1 trillion in 2020.(( https://www.statista.com/topics/3140/insurance-industry-in-the-us/#dossierKeyfigures )) 
  • Growth forecast – The US insurance industry is expected to continue to grow for the next five years. 
  • Number of businesses – In 2021, 1,225,407 finance and insurance businesses were operating in the US. 
  • Number of people employed – In 2021, the US finance and insurance industry employed 7,509,253 people.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/finance-and-insurance-sector/ ))

insurance industry size and growth

Trends and challenges

Trends in the insurance industry include:

  • Tech-enabled data, including data about driving, is making insurance premiums more personalized.
  • AI and automation technologies are enabling faster insurance claims processing.

Challenges in the insurance industry include:

  • Insurance agencies are facing pressure to digitalize their business processes, creating the need for additional investment.
  • The trend toward purchasing insurance online is decreasing revenues for independent agencies, which often lack the resources for e-commerce. 

insurance industry Trends and Challenges

Demand hotspots

  • Most popular states – The most popular states for insurance agents are Vermont, Hawaii, and Ohio.(( https://www.zippia.com/insurance-agent-jobs/best-states/ )) 
  • Least popular states – The least popular states for insurance agents are New Mexico, Idaho, and Georgia. 

insurance industry demand hotspots

What kind of people work in insurance?

  • Gender –   48.4% of insurance agents are female, while 51.6% are male.(( https://www.zippia.com/insurance-agent-jobs/demographics/ ))
  • Average level of education – The average insurance agent has a bachelor’s degree.
  • Average age – The average insurance agent in the US is 45.9 years old.

insurance industry demographics

How much does it cost to start an insurance agency business?

Startup costs for an insurance agency range from $2,800 to $6,500. Costs include a computer, a website, and a marketing budget. These numbers assume that you will start your agency from home.

You’ll need to be licensed in all types of insurance. Every state has its own education and licensing requirements, so check with your state’s licensing board.

How much can you earn from an insurance agency business?

Your income will depend on the type of insurance sold. You’ll earn a commission of about 15% of the annual premium. These calculations assume that your average customer will pay $2,000 per year on various types of insurance. Your profit margin will be high when you’re working by yourself, about 90%. 

In your first year or two, you could work from home and sell 200 policies per year, bringing in $60,000 in annual revenue. This would mean $54,000 in profit, assuming that 90% margin. As you start to get referrals, sales could climb to 1000 policies a year. At this stage, you’d rent a commercial space and hire staff, reducing your profit margin to around 30%. With annual revenue of $300,000, you’d make a healthy profit of $90,000.

insurance agency earnings forecast

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for an insurance agency. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • Meeting the education and licensing requirements
  • The massive competition in the insurance industry

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Step 2: hone your idea.

Now that you know what’s involved in starting an insurance agency, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.

Why? Identify an opportunity

Research insurance agencies in your area to examine their products, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing an independent insurance agency that sells errors and omissions (EO) insurance, or an agency that works with a certain insurance carrier. 

insurance agency startup business plan

You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as life insurance or homeowner’s insurance.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine your products or services

Your best bet is to become licensed in all types of insurance so that you have more revenue potential. You can offer both personal and business insurance. 

How much should you charge for insurance?

Your prices will be dependent on the premiums that the insurance carriers quote for each client. Your commission will depend on the type of insurance, but will typically be about 15%. 

Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

Your target market will be consumers and businesses. You should spread out your marketing to include TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

Where? Choose your business premises

In the early stages, you may want to run your business from home to keep costs low. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire workers for various roles and may need to rent out an office. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist , Crexi , and Instant Offices .

When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

  • Central location accessible via public transport
  • Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
  • Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
  • Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed

insurance agency idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm an Insurance Company Name

Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “insurance” or “insurance agency”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Apex Insurance Solutions” over “AutoShield Insurance Agency” or “Sportsman’s Insurance Group”
  • Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
  • Use online tools like the Step by Step Business Name Generator . Just type in a few keywords and hit “generate” and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Find a Domain

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Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.

Step 4: Create an Insurance Agency Business Plan

Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:

  • Executive Summary: Provide a brief summary of your insurance agency’s mission to offer comprehensive insurance solutions and excellent customer service.
  • Business Overview: Describe your insurance agency’s focus, whether it’s personal, commercial, or a mix, and emphasize the types of insurance you specialize in, like auto, home, life, or business insurance.
  • Product and Services: Detail the insurance products you offer, including coverage options, policies, and any unique features or add-ons that set your agency apart.
  • Market Analysis: Analyze the insurance market in your target area, including demographics, competitors, and the demand for insurance services.
  • Competitive Analysis: Assess your competition in the insurance industry, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, pricing strategies, and customer acquisition methods.
  • Sales and Marketing: Explain your marketing strategies, which may involve partnerships with local businesses, digital marketing, or networking within the community.
  • Management Team: Showcase the expertise and qualifications of your team, particularly in insurance sales, underwriting, claims processing, and customer relations.
  • Operations Plan: Describe your agency’s daily operations, from client onboarding to policy administration and claims handling, ensuring efficiency and excellent service.
  • Financial Plan: Provide financial projections, including startup costs, revenue forecasts, and profit margins, outlining your agency’s path to profitability.
  • Appendix: Include additional documents such as insurance industry certifications, testimonials from satisfied clients, or case studies demonstrating successful insurance coverage.

what to include in a business plan

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to insurance agencies. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your insurance agency will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

  • Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
  • C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
  • S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC , which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.

types of business structures

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization , and answer any questions you might have. 

Form Your LLC

Choose Your State

We recommend ZenBusiness as the Best LLC Service for 2023

insurance agency startup business plan

Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number , or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

insurance agency startup business plan

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist , and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you’re completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

  • Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan .
  • Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
  • Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding an insurance agency business. 

types of business financing

Step 8: Apply for Insurance Business Licenses and Permits

Starting an insurance agency business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

You’ll need an insurance broker’s license and various types of insurance agent licenses. Education and licensing requirements vary by state. You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA ), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package . They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account .

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your insurance agency business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.

types of business insurance

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks. 

You may want to use industry-specific software, such as  Vertafore ,  EZLynx , or  Zywave , to manage your leads, sales, policies, invoicing, and payments. 

  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks , Freshbooks , and Xero . 
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.

Develop your website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.

You can create your own website using services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace . This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.

Here are some powerful marketing strategies for your future business:

  • Localized Sponsorships: Partner with local events, sports teams, or community organizations to sponsor their activities, gaining exposure among your target audience and establishing a trustworthy local presence.
  • Educational Workshops: Host workshops or webinars on insurance-related topics, providing valuable information to potential clients and positioning your agency as an authority in the field.
  • Customer Referral Program: Encourage satisfied clients to refer friends and family by implementing a referral program with incentives, such as discounts or small rewards for both the existing and new clients.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Build relationships with other local businesses, such as real estate agencies or car dealerships, for mutual referrals and cross-promotions.
  • Social Media Engagement: Leverage social media platforms to engage with your audience by sharing relevant content, answering queries, and participating in community discussions, showcasing your agency’s expertise.
  • Online Reviews and Testimonials: Actively encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google My Business or Yelp, enhancing your online reputation and credibility.
  • Targeted Direct Mail Campaigns: Send personalized and targeted direct mail campaigns to specific demographics within your local area, emphasizing the benefits of your insurance services.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure your online presence, including emails and website, is optimized for mobile devices, as many potential clients may access information through smartphones and tablets.
  • Content Marketing: Develop high-quality, informative content through blog posts, articles, or videos that address common questions and concerns related to insurance, showcasing your agency’s expertise.
  • Customer Loyalty Programs: Implement loyalty programs that reward clients for long-term relationships with your agency, fostering customer retention and positive word-of-mouth.

Focus on USPs

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your insurance agency meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your insurance agency business could be: 

  • Protect your family long-term with life insurance and annuities
  • A family-run agency for all your insurance needs 
  • We’ll shop for the best insurance rates for you

unique selling proposition

You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running an insurance agency business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in insurance agencies for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in insurance. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for an insurance agency business include:

  • Licensed Insurance Agents – sell insurance policies
  • Customer Service Representatives – answer calls, make appointments
  • Receptionist – greet customers
  • General Manager – scheduling, accounting
  • Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed , Glassdoor , or ZipRecruiter . Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Run an Insurance Business – Start Making Money!

In a trillion-dollar industry, a startup insurance agency has enormous potential. Almost everyone has some type of insurance, and most people and businesses have more than one type. If you’re a licensed insurance agent or want to become one, starting a thriving insurance agency is not too difficult if you have a passion for serving customers and addressing their needs. 

You’ve done your business homework now, so it’s time to get to work ensuring your future success!

  • Insurance Agency Business FAQs

An insurance agency can be very profitable. You’ll just need to invest in some marketing and serve your customers well by finding them the best products and premiums and you can be successful.

You’ll need to be licensed in the type of insurance you want to sell. Every state has its own education and licensing requirements, so check with your state’s licensing board.

To differentiate your insurance agency from competitors in the market, you can specialize in a niche, provide personalized service, highlight unique offerings, leverage technology, and build strong relationships with clients.

Effective marketing strategies for promoting an insurance agency include targeted digital advertising, content marketing, referral programs, community involvement, and utilizing online reviews and testimonials.

To build a client base for your insurance agency, define your target market, develop a strong online presence, network and build relationships, offer incentives for new clients, and leverage existing contacts to spread the word about your agency.

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  • Decide if the Business Is Right for You
  • Hone Your Idea
  • Brainstorm an Insurance Company Name
  • Create an Insurance Agency Business Plan
  • Register Your Business
  • Register for Taxes
  • Fund your Business
  • Apply for Insurance Business Licenses and Permits
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get Business Insurance
  • Prepare to Launch
  • Build Your Team
  • Run an Insurance Business - Start Making Money!

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Industry insights

Starting an independent insurance agency: step-by-step guide.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the importance of financial protection in crises and with it, a growing demand for life insurance. If you’re an experienced agent, now is a great time to start your own agency. But while doing so has its rewards, it’s also a considerable challenge, especially if you have no prior business experience.  So to get you started on the right foot, here’s a guide on how to start an insurance agency from home.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Start Your Own Insurance Agency  

Learning how to start an insurance business isn’t that different from building other types of companies, and the steps are equally important. Be sure to complete each step thoroughly and accurately to set yourself up for success.

1. Build a Business Plan

Creating a sound business plan is always the first step in starting your own insurance agency or any business for that matter. That’s because this document is the blueprint that will guide every decision you’ll make in your agency. Starting an insurance company requires you to set goals, take stock of your available resources, and prepare for the risks and obstacles along the way. Creating a business plan helps you with this process. In addition, it also enables you to communicate your business plans to potential partners, employees, and the bank in order to secure financing.

2. Determine Your Legal Structure

One of the first decisions you’ll make when starting an insurance company from scratch is to choose your legal structure. This is crucial because how your agency is set up determines the liability you take on as an owner, among other things. For example, setting up a corporation or LLC protects your personal assets if the business can’t pay its debts because the company is considered a separate entity. In a sole proprietorship, the owner assumes all of the company’s liabilities.

Of course, this is just a simplistic overview of legal structures. There are many other factors at play, such as tax implications and requirements. We recommend talking to a lawyer or legal consultant to help you decide what’s right for you.

3. Get Funding

One of the biggest reasons most businesses fail is the lack of sufficient capital. Hence, it’s crucial that you ensure you have enough funding when starting an independent insurance agency. This is true even if insurance agencies mostly rely on staffing as you still need to pay for operating expenses or cover “gaps” in billing cycles.

There are countless ways to raise capital, depending on your risk profile. Of course, close family and friends are always your first step. Beyond that, you can take out a loan from a third-party lender or bank or buy blanket . You can also consider taking on partners if you don’t mind sharing the profit in exchange for less debt.

4. Register Your Agency’s Name

The following steps on how to start an insurance company involve letting the government and general public know of your intention. And it starts with registering your agency’s name. Registering your agency’s name lets you reserve it for your sole use so that no other business can claim it. The other reason to do this first is that it’ll tell you if your proposed agency name is already taken, so you can change it early on.

At the minimum, you should register your business name with the state government. But for the best protection, consider applying for a trademark for your name. If you’re a sole proprietor, you can apply for a trade name or DBA (“doing business as”) name in place of your personal name. You can be creative in how you name your agency, but note that it’s how your customers will know and remember you. Therefore, it’s beneficial to make it simple to remember and easy to pronounce and spell.

5. Tax ID Number

Starting an independent insurance agency means paying taxes to the government. To do that, you need to register your business for a federal employer identification number (FEIN). This is similar to how you use your Social Security number when filing taxes, but for businesses. You apply for your business’s tax ID number with the IRS. The only requirements you’ll need are the business name, address, and the SSN / LYH of the owner.

6. Register With Your State

Once you have your tax ID number, the last step to make your agency official is to register with your state’s insurance commissioner’s office. Aside from the tax ID, the only other requirement is signing a checklist listing the state’s insurance regulations. You’ll also need to settle a small fee.

7. Licensing and Permits

Even if you’ve already registered your business, you may need to get some permits and licenses to operate legally. What these are can vary from state to state and even depends on your business’s location. Thus, it’s best to consult with local agencies or a business expert for more guidance on your specific requirements.

8. Purchase Insurance

As an insurance agency, it would make sense to insure your own business. At the very least, you’ll need general liability insurance and errors and omissions insurance (E&O). Both of these will cover business risks like damage to property and legal costs arising from negligence and error lawsuits. Beyond this, it will depend on what your business uses daily. If you’re using a company vehicle, for example, you need to have auto insurance. Likewise, renting or owning a physical office should be accompanied by commercial property insurance.

9. Build Your Website

Many aspects of selling insurance happen online, whether scouting for leads or providing a place where clients can go for more information. As a starting independent insurance agency, you need to have an online presence, starting with a website. Building a website can be both costly and time-consuming, as you’ll need to hire someone to design your agency website. A better solution is to use done-for-you services like iLife. With the iLife platform , you can have a custom, white-labeled website with no coding experience required. Prospects can learn more about your offerings through the website and are even pre-screened with questions. This frees up your agent’s time and effort to close more deals. 

Learn more about iLife Website Builder

10. Develop a Marketing Plan

As we mentioned above, selling insurance isn’t reliant on cold calls or door-to-door tactics anymore. While those can still bring results, using the power of social media and content marketing is a much more effective strategy in today’s connected world. Thus, having a digital marketing loveyou plan is a crucial ingredient in the success of any insurance agency. Like the business plan, the marketing plan helps you zero in on the strategy you think will work best for your needs.

11. Build Your Customer Base

You’re not truly in business unless you get your first customer. And that’s why an essential part of how to start insurance agency businesses is the lead generation strategy. Right now, there’s no shortage of places to find new clients. The key, therefore, is to attract and retain them.  You can do that by giving value on the very first encounter. Aim to be helpful and avoid seeming sales-y. Go out of your way to make your clients feel that you genuinely care for them, not just because you want the sale. Having this mindset is the best way to gain their trust.

Build Trust with iLife 

iLife is the world’s first platform designed specifically for life insurance agents, providing the fastest and easiest way for life insurance businesses to build an interactive client experience online. With iLife, starting an independent insurance agency is easy. You can build a fantastic website, manage customer relationships, and provide quotes in real-time — all with just a few clicks. Sign up for free and see how easy it is to build and nurture relationships online. 

If you enjoyed this article, you may find our resource “ The Guide To Using Technology To Recruit New Life Insurance Recruits ” useful.

Enjoy this piece of content and want to dive a little bit deeper on the topic of Selling Life Insurance ? iLife’s blog is just what you need. Click here to explore today!

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How to Start an Insurance Agency

As the owner of an insurance agency, your job is to guide customers through the buying process and assist them in determining what policy most closely fits their needs. In addition to the initial sale of an insurance policy, brokers regularly meet with clients to ensure the policy is still the best fit. Many agents also act as the first point of contact should a claim arise. Due to the nature of the business, many insurance agents are their clients’ most trusted advisors.

Captive Agency vs Independent Agency

When considering opening an insurance brokerage, you’ll have two options: independent or captive. Both options can be very profitable and each comes with their own set of pros and cons.

As an independent agent, you can freely sell insurance products offered by many different carriers. You are, in essence, the pre-underwriter. It’s your job to analyze the information you’ve collected to determine which companies will write the policy. You then figure quotes based on this information and offer the cheapest quotes to the customer. Policies vary from company to company, so it’s your job to explain any differences their new policy might have over their current one. Many agents prefer writing and servicing one line of business over another. As an independent, you have the advantage of focusing on the lines of business that fulfill you the most.

Captive agencies sign a contract to represent and write insurance for one company (e.g. State Farm Agent or Farm Bureau). You are still the pre-underwriter, but you only have one set of underwriting guidelines to memorize and adhere to. Most captive insurance carriers offer multiple lines of business (e.g. business, personal, life, health, and annuities), making it easier to write a household’s entire book of business. This offers a wonderful opportunity to build lasting connections with your clients. They often become like family, as you’re there to help them through some of their most difficult times. If you decide to be a captive agent, be sure you fully understand the terms of the contract, that you’re familiar with the carrier’s mission, and that you stand by their line of products.

Learn how to start your own Insurance Agency and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services .

Insurance Agency Image

Start an insurance agency by following these 10 steps:

  • Plan your Insurance Agency
  • Form your Insurance Agency into a Legal Entity
  • Register your Insurance Agency for Taxes
  • Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
  • Set up Accounting for your Insurance Agency
  • Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Insurance Agency
  • Get Insurance Agency Insurance
  • Define your Insurance Agency Brand
  • Create your Insurance Agency Website
  • Set up your Business Phone System

We have put together this simple guide to starting your insurance agency. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas .

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

What will you name your business?

  • What are the startup and ongoing costs?
  • Who is your target market?

How much can you charge customers?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Insurance Agency Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship , you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name , we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state's business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability .

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Want some help naming your insurance agency?

Business name generator, what are the costs involved in opening an insurance agency.

If you’re considering opening an agency, you’ve hopefully already completed the first step, which is obtaining the necessary insurance licenses. Your next step is to purchase or lease office space.

If you’ve decided to partner with a captive company, like State Farm, you’ll likely have guidelines that must be followed when determining a location. As an independent agent, you won’t face these same restrictions. Do your research and choose an area that isn’t already flooded with agencies. Try to find a location that is easy to get to, has ample parking, and a steady flow of foot traffic. While almost all policies can be written online nowadays, many customers still feel most comfortable with face-to-face meetings when it comes to insurance.

Once you’ve found a location, it’s time to start purchasing your office equipment. Since you’ll be storing personal information on all your clients, it’s important to have a computer system complete with all the necessary firewalls. Captive agents have the advantage of utilizing the computer management system the company they represent uses. If you’re opening up an independent agency, invest in an insurance management software solution that can handle all your agency’s needs. Many systems allow you to work quotes, issue policies, track commissions, and handle your accounting needs, all in one system. For a list of all available software solutions, and their ratings, click here. These systems range anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000, depending upon the number of users and the capabilities you desire.

Once you have an office space set up, you’ll want to hire your staff. They’ll need to become familiar with the new software, the insurance products you plan to sell, and must be trained accordingly. Given the role they’ll have in the success of the business, it’s critical that you offer your staff the training and support they need.

If you’ve decided to take the independent agency route, you’ll spend a great deal of time and money setting up agency appointments. This is the agreement between the insurance company and the agency. It defines what types of policies you’re allowed to write, any underwriting restrictions that might be enforced, and your rate of commission. Most companies will send a representative out to survey the office and meet with you and your staff. Each appointment costs between $125 and $250, depending upon the company.

To establish yourself as a professional in the industry, a website is critical. While it doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles, it should educate on the basics of insurance, explain the types of policies you write, and reflect the brand you’re trying to build. Many websites now allow customers to review their policies, make necessary changes, and obtain quotes. The more intuitive and informative your site is, the more likely you are to land new clients. Many captive agents are provided a website through the company they represent. An independent agent should budget anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000, depending upon how advanced they want their website to be.

What are the ongoing expenses for an insurance agency?

There are a number of items you’ll need to budget for, in addition to the standard overhead costs of running an office space. Payroll and incentive packages for your staff members will be your greatest expense. As the business grows, this expenses will grow, as well.

You should also encourage and support your workforce to expand their knowledge. Many states have different levels of insurance licensing. If your staff members come to you with only a customer service license, they’ll be limited in both knowledge and the amount of insurance business they’re legally allowed to do. If you send them back to school to obtain additional licensing, it’s a win-win - you’re investing in their future, as well as your own. Every licensed agent is also required to regularly attend a number of continuing education classes. This is another opportunity to show your employees you support them and recognize the value of a well-educated staff.

As a captive agent, you’ll represent just one company throughout your career. However, if you’re an independent, you’ll need to consistently add new companies to your business. Remain educated on the latest insurance companies, their underwriting guidelines, and how they could benefit the individual members in your book of business. This means setting aside a portion of your monthly budget for additional insurance appointment fees.

As mentioned previously, a consistent marketing strategy is what will attract new customers to your agency. Both time and money should be budgeted every month for this most valuable aspect of your business.

Your initial investment in a computer management system will prove to be a valuable asset to the company. Once installed, many software companies charge a monthly fee based on the number of users. While it can get quite expensive, this system is what connects you to your customers and is critical to the agency’s success.

Who is the target market?

Many independent agents build a successful agency by focusing on one target niche. Some are more knowledgeable in commercial lines and enjoy the high commissions that come with higher premiums. Others focus their attention more on personal line products such as teen drivers, art collectors, or RV’s. If you do decide to focus on writing one type of business, be sure you know your product well, as your marketing efforts will need to align with those goals.

While their knowledge might be stronger in one, most captive agents write all lines of business. Thus, their ideal customer is someone looking to keep as many lines of business in one agency as possible. This is beneficial to you, as you’re able to get to know the client and their insurance needs on a deeper level.

Loyalty and trust is built, which helps ensure a long-standing relationship. This can still be done successfully in an independent agency, but it requires a great deal more work and partnering with the best companies in the industry.

How does an insurance agency make money?

Your agency brings in money for each policy that is written. Upon policy issuance and renewal, commission is paid to the agency. Commission is paid at a higher percentage upon policy inception, with a lower percentage for renewals, which occur semi-annually or annually, depending upon the policy.

Premiums and commission are set by the insurance company and vary by policy and line of business. Commissions are paid off the total premium. Most are set at 12%-15% for new policies and 5%-10% for renewal business.

How much profit can an insurance agency make?

The BLS projects 22% growth in the insurance industry over the next decade, more than 10% higher than all other occupations. Building a book of business, however, takes time. The first few years are the hardest and will take a great deal of work.

Your profits are directly tied to how you decide to set up your agency and what types of policies you focus on. Independent agents whose core business is personal lines report an average of $85,5000 plus bonuses. Some agents have reported even higher earnings by writing only high-end commercial lines policies. Captive agents report an average of $79,700 plus bonuses. Independents realized higher year-end bonuses.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Successful insurance agency owners have reported the following strategies for expanding their business’ profits:

  • Outsource departments that aren’t mission critical to the company’s core business. This includes accounting, marketing, and IT.
  • If an independent agency, consider buying another agent’s book of business.
  • Focus on cross-selling multiple lines to your current book of business
  • Sell lines of insurance that have higher premiums or offer a larger commission, such as business insurance and life insurance
  • Spend time keeping up with the latest in insurance trends and carriers. Only represent the carriers whose products you stand behind and would be willing to write for your own family.
  • Allow your employees to work from home from time to time. This helps cut down on overhead expenses and sends a message to your staff that you trust them.

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship , partnership , limited liability company (LLC) , and corporation .

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your insurance agency is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services . You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website . If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil .

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

  • Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • Build your company's credit history , which can be useful to raise money later on.

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate an insurance agency. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by  visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

In particular, insurance agencies generally should obtain a sellers license as most states require insurance agencies to remit sales tax for certain types of insurance products. A seller’s permit allows states to record and collect taxes from goods (and sometimes service) sales.

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses .

Insurance Agent/Broker Licensing

One must pass an examination and be licensed to sell one or multiple lines of insurance in their state. More information about insurance licensing requirements can be found at StateRequirement.com .

State by State Laws and Regulations

Laws pertaining to an insurance agency or brokerage vary from state to state. Specific state jurisdictions can be found at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Certificate of Occupancy

An insurance brokerage is generally run out of an office. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.

If you plan to lease a office location:

  • It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
  • Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to an insurance brokerage business.
  • After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.

If you plan to purchase or build an office location:

  • You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
  • Review all building codes and zoning requirements for you business’ location to ensure your Insurance Agency will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance . This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance . If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

FInd out what types of insurance your Insurance Agency needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Insurance Agency.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners , we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended : Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker .

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator . Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market an insurance agency

A well thought-out marketing strategy is a vital tool for success. Remember, prospective clients have a number of options to choose from. It’s important that your strategy represents your brand and helps you stand out from the competition.

An understanding of your target audience is key. Let them know why they should come to you and how your agency can best fulfill their needs.

Captive agents have the advantage of working with a carrier that has already made a name for themselves in the industry. Many have found success through personalized mailers, ads in neighborhood newsletters and school yearbooks, and radio advertisements.

An independent, however, will sometimes represent carriers that aren’t as well-known. Your ability to educate them will define your success. In addition to the marketing tactics of a captive agency, independents should have a website that is informative and offers answers to the customer’s most burning questions. Share your knowledge on social media accounts and in strategically-timed television and radio advertisements.

Regardless of which path you take, participation in local and national business profiles such as Yelp and LinkedIn are always critical. It takes time to establish yourself as a leader in the industry. Start making a name for yourself now and it will serve you for years to come.

How to keep customers coming back

Unfortunately, customer retention is often defined by the policy premium. Many clients react emotionally when they receive their renewal policy and realize the premium has gone up. They fail to understand that increases are standard and are typically the same amongst all carriers.

Hopefully your marketing strategy will appeal to these clients at just the right moment (it really is all about timing when it comes to emotions) and they’ll come to you with a quote request. Once you have prospects in the door, you have an opportunity to start building that relationship we discussed earlier.

While the captive agent can’t shop rates with other companies, they can inquire with underwriting to determine exactly why the premium went up. This is also a great opportunity to examine the client’s policies to determine if there are any coverages that could be amended or any discounts the client might be eligible for. The relationship you’ve built with the client, coupled with your ongoing efforts to maintain a high level of service are often enough. Many will choose a little higher premium for the peace of mind of knowing they’re with an agent who has their best interests at heart.

The independent has a slight disadvantage here. Until you’ve built a strong book of business and proven your loyalty to the customer, they feel no real loyalty to you. Clients will be basing their decisions on price alone. Customer retention is earned through strong customer service and anticipating the needs of your clients.

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business .

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
  • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Recommended : Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders .

Other popular website builders are: WordPress , WIX , Weebly , Squarespace , and Shopify .

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com

Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

TRUiC's Startup Podcast

Welcome to the Startup Savant podcast , where we interview real startup founders at every stage of the entrepreneurial journey, from launch to scale.

Is this Business Right For You?

While it’s often a profitable career choice, most insurance agency owners don’t enter it solely for the money. They do it because they love to help people. Insurance is frustrating and confusing to most consumers, yet it’s a “necessary evil.”

A captive agency is wonderful for someone who is genuinely in it to help their clients long-term. While price is important to the client, the level of service they receive from their agent is what keeps them there, even when premiums rise. If a customer forgets to pay their premium and the policy is about to cancel, your staff will pick up the phone and remind them. If there’s a death in the family, you’ll be one of the first to know. And it’s not just about filling out the paperwork for the life insurance policy; it’s about being there for the client and taking a weight off their shoulders during a dark time. Running a captive agency is often more about service writing policies. The financial and marketing support you receive from your carrier allows you to focus on what matters most - the client.

The independent agency path is perfect for the individual who loves helping people, but who also has strong marketing instincts. Without the support of one company, the burden rests on your shoulders to show people why your agency is a step above the rest. It is a more fast-paced environment and no two days are alike.

Regardless of which path you decide to take, you should have several years of insurance experience under your belt. You must possess a firm understanding of the intricacies of this ever-changing profession and enjoy passing your knowledge on to your customers. Your days will often be long, but meaningful.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at an insurance agency?

Whether it’s assisting clients in making insurance decisions, filling out the paperwork to write a policy, or working to gain appointments with new insurance companies, agents spend much of their day in sales-mode.

Insurance is a very volatile business, so caring for your current book of business is just as important as gaining new clients. Insurance illustrations for prospective clients must be prepared and customer questions and concerns should be addressed, in order to keep both new and existing customers satisfied.

When policies come up for renewal, premiums generally change. If you’re an independent agent, you’ll want to review their policy and determine if a policy with a new company is a viable option. Each independent carrier has their own claims department and way of processing a claim. As their agent, you’re there to take down the initial loss information and provide them the details of what will happen next. At that point, most adjusters ask that you exit the process and allow them to handle any questions or concerns.

If you’re a captive agent, you’ll want to review their policy so you can explain any rate changes, should the customer inquire. As a captive agent, you’ll also often be the first person a client sees or talks to after a loss. You’re there to take the claim and will often be the middle man between the client and the claims department. Your day is, simply put, about building and maintaining relationships with both customers and insurance companies.

Without a marketing plan in place, however, you won’t have a customer base to care for. Therefore, a good portion of your day should be spent working to reach your target audience. This is particularly true of an independent agent, who doesn’t have the support of one particular carrier’s name and resources.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful insurance agency?

As an insurance agent, you must have a fine balance of skills. While you spend your day selling policies, it’s important to genuinely care about your clients. You should possess a thirst for knowledge, as you’ll need to consistently stay on top of the latest changes and trends. Strong verbal and written skills are critical in building relationships with insurance carriers, underwriters, and customers.

As with everything in life, knowledge is power. The insurance industry is dynamic. While underwriting and claims processes change all the time, the basic principles remain the same. Before opening your own agency, it’s important to gain real-world experience. Most agents start out as an employee for another agent. This is an opportunity to gain a clear understanding of each element of the business and achieve the licenses needed to successfully run your own agency. The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research has a curriculum to cover every aspect of the business and offers both self-directed and instructor-led classes.

The knowledge you gain will not only help you build a successful agency, it’s also what ensures you’re able to open your doors. To sign a contract with most captive carriers, you’re required to have a certain level of experience with their company. As an independent, there’s an appointment process. Most carriers won’t appoint an agent without several years of experience.

As previously mentioned, if you plan to write commercial policies, you’ll need to gain as much knowledge as possible about each industry. Start out learning everything you can about one or two. Become a member of the organizations that are important to them. Join trade groups, unions, and chambers. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to serve them.

Remember, your prospective clients are looking to you for guidance. Many of them don’t understand anything about insurance. How you treat them and conduct business is directly tied to your success.

What is the growth potential for an insurance agency?

Your agency’s growth potential is directly tied to the lines of business you choose to write. Many captive and independent agencies sell personal and business insurance, as well as life, health, and annuities. This ensures you’re able to care for all of your customer’s needs, further strengthening that relationship. As a captive agent, you will have guidelines regarding what you can write and when. Independent agencies are allowed a little more flexibility and franchising is a viable option once you’ve made a name for yourself in the insurance community.

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Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor.

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting an insurance agency?

When starting out, it's critical to have a gameplan for establishing an initial book of business. Many who are new to this business simply assume customers will find their agency once they open up shop. Few are ever so lucky. A realistic and solid customer acquisition plan is an absolute must when starting out. Before investing your first dime into your business, spend networking and learning from others who have succesfully grown their insurance agency. You might even consdier establishing relationships with insurance agencies selling different types of insurance products. Initially they can help refer you new business, and you can return the favor as you grow.

How and when to build a team

Like most business owners, you’ll probably feel tempted to start out running your business solo. Unless you’ve decided to start out partnering with another agency, don’t give in to this temptation.

Remember, you’ll spend much of your time marketing to your target audience and meeting with various insurance companies. You’ll be building important connections within the industry. While it’s also important to build connections with your prospective customers, your staff is who will, ultimately, be handling the day-to-day interactions with customers. An experienced and knowledgeable employee will be your lifeline. Recruit, train, and incentivize early and you’ll build a staff that is loyal to both you and your book of business.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for an insurance agency’s staff is $48, 200. The top 10 percent earned more than $122,590 and the lowest 10 percent earned approximately $26,330. Most agencies pay their employees a base salary with a bonus, based on performance.

Read our insurance agency hiring guide to learn about the different roles an insurance agency typically fills, how much to budget for employee salaries, and how to build your team exactly how you want it.

Useful Links

Truic resources.

  • TRUiC's Insurance Agency Hiring Guide

Industry Opportunities

  • National Insurance Brokerage Association
  • The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers
  • Insurance agency opportunity w/ state farm
  • StateRequirement Jobs - Insurance Job Board

Real World Examples

  • Private insurance brokerage Hylant
  • Kapnick: Independent Insurance Agency

Further Reading

  • How-to guide detailing the process of starting an insurance brokerage
  • State-by-state guides to becoming licensed to sell insurance

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!

insurance agency startup business plan

For Agencies

Let's Talk: (844) 800 - 2211

Remembering Shay Litvak Our Co-Founder and CTO

November 1979 - September 2023

Crafting a Winning Business Plan for Your Insurance Agency

Business plan for insurance agency

Deanna deBara

Whether you have experience as a captive insurance agent or you’re an independent agent looking to branch away from working for others,  starting an insurance agency  might make sense as your next career move.

And now’s as good a time as any to start. In fact, broker and agency revenue  increased by 1.5% over the past five years —with growth expected to continue as the economy improves.

But with this growth and opportunity comes competition. The insurance industry is continuing to evolve, which means different companies—like those that use  insurtech  to blend insurance with technological innovations—are entering the fray and  competing for market share .

To give your new agency the edge over its competition and make sure your company is viable, you need a plan—an insurance agency business plan. Let’s look at why you need this document, what it should include, and other things to consider before you present your plan and launch your agency.

What Is a Business Plan—and Why Do You Need One?

A business plan is a document that outlines your approach to starting and running your agency. This document serves as a roadmap to follow at each stage of business growth, from your initial planning stages to achieving your  long-term goals . 

It can include information about how to structure and fund your agency, financial projections and goals, and guidance for how to run the agency as it evolves and grows.

There are a number of reasons you should consider creating a plan for your insurance agency, including:

  • Help your agency succeed: About  20% of startups  fail within their first year. Though creating a business plan doesn’t guarantee your business will succeed, business owners who write out formal plans are  16% more likely to succeed  than entrepreneurs who wing it without one. Why? Planning helps you lay a solid foundation for your business, giving you a step-by-step guide for how to reach your goals.
  • Secure funding: Many lenders require you to provide a plan for your business if you apply for a business loan or investment. The reason? A plan can reveal how viable your business is—including if you (and your leadership) are qualified to run a successful agency, what your  financial forecast  is for hitting different milestones, and what your overall objectives are for achieving success. In other words, lenders and investors want to know the likelihood of you paying off your debt and earning a profit—and, if so, how soon you’ll hit both milestones. A business plan helps them get a better idea of that likelihood—information they can use to determine if they want to lend to or invest in your business.
  • Inform your decisions over time: A business plan for an insurance agency is a roadmap that defines your goals and objectives—as well as how to achieve them. But as your business grows, it’s easy to lose track of your long-term plans. Being able to refer to a document that details your plans can help you remain committed, even as your team—and agency—grows.

What To Include in Your Insurance Agency Plan 

Now that you know the importance of writing an insurance agency business plan, the next question is: what do you include in it? 

When it comes to creating a plan for your insurance agency, there aren’t any hard requirements. In fact, your plan can be in any format you’d like (including a “lean plan,” which focuses only on key elements)—though, if you’re looking for a bank loan or investment, your plan  should  be as detailed as possible.

Elements you might want to consider including in a  traditional business plan  for insurance agencies include:

Executive Summary

As its name implies, the executive summary is a brief overview of your plan. It should include general information about your insurance agency, though this information might change over time depending on how long your agency is operational. 

For example, a startup insurance agency might include a brief mention of market competition and its planned growth strategy. On the other hand, an established agency might summarize past achievements and include information about employees.

Items to include in your executive summary are:

  • Your agency name
  • Your mission statement
  • A high-level overview of the products or services you offer or plan to offer
  • Background on you  and your agency’s leadership team
  • Information about your employees
  • The location and market you operate or will operate in
  • A brief description of your marketing plan
  • Brief financial information and an overview of your growth plan, including projected costs (though you’ll expand on that later in the document)

Because your executive summary is a top-level overview of your insurance agency business plan, keep it concise and enticing. 

The idea is to encourage a reader to keep reading your business plan and learn more about your agency—especially if you’re looking for funding. 

In other words, the executive summary should be just that: a  summary  that introduces ideas you’ll expand upon later in your plan. Limit yourself to a couple of short, brief sentences for each idea and save specifics for dedicated sections of the document.

Company Description/Business Summary

The second element to include in your plan for an insurance agency is a detailed description of your company. This is your opportunity to expand upon some of the ideas you introduced in the executive summary. Here are some things to discuss:

  • Legal structure of your agency: Your agency’s form of business, like a  sole proprietorship, limited liability company , partnership, or S-Corp. (Not sure which structure to choose? Make sure to read the next section.)
  • Organizational chart: An organizational chart identifies your management team members and highlights their qualifications and expertise to determine who’s responsible for different aspects of running the agency. (You can attach resumes in an appendix to the business plan too).
  • Target market: Who you plan to market to (such as individuals, businesses, or a mix of both).
  • Business history: If your agency has already been established, what it’s achieved since it first opened.
  • What sets you apart from the competition: For example, if you serve a wider (or more specific) target market or offer products other agencies don’t, or if you or your agents are uniquely qualified.
  • SWOT analysis: A  SWOT analysis  identifies your core Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to give you (and your plan’s readers) an accurate and objective insight into your agency to inform future decisions, like investing in your agency startup.

What is the Best Business Structure for an Insurance Agency?

Many insurance agencies structure their business as a limited liability company (LLC), as it provides certain tax benefits and helps to protect their personal assets. 

That being said, the best structure for  your  business will depend on a variety of factors, including your goals, number of employees, and projected revenue. 

If you’re not sure how to structure your business, consider talking to a business lawyer and/or tax professional with experience in the insurance industry.

Product List

An effective insurance agency business plan should include a comprehensive list of the products and services it offers or plans to offer. Include the lines of insurance you’ll sell—like personal lines or  commercial lines —as well as the specific insurance policies you sell (or plan to), like  workers’ comp , life insurance or professional liability insurance.

And don’t skimp out on details. Mention the benefits of the insurance products you plan to offer, premiums and pricing, and your sales projections for each product. 

You should also include which insurance carriers your agency will represent—and which policies they’re responsible for underwriting. You might also want to provide a brief description of what  appointment  and representation means (or, in other words, which insurance carriers allow you to sell their products and represent their companies)—especially if you’ll be using your plan to secure funding for your agency since lenders might not be entirely familiar with the insurance industry.

Market Analysis

A major reason for creating a plan for your insurance agency is to prove that your business idea is viable. In other words, you need to demonstrate that there’s a demand for the products you offer—and that you have a competitive advantage that lets you capture enough market share to turn a profit.

And the place to do that? The market analysis section.

In this section, include detailed information about your agency’s target clients. Try to determine if there’s room for your agency. If not, look for underserved niches that you might be able to fill. At the same time, look at your market’s demographics to make sure your potential offerings meet their demands for insurance products.

For example, if you plan on selling commercial insurance, will you market specifically to construction companies and contractors or businesses in general? You might also want to limit your marketing efforts to small businesses that earn up to a certain revenue (like businesses with annual revenue between $1 million and $2.5 million).

You should also include a competitive analysis that identifies your key competitors, including their market share, target customers, and the specific products and services they offer. From there, explain how your marketing strategy will be competitive. 

For example, do you plan to  partner with an insurtech  company to attract leads and drive conversions?  Hourly  combines time tracking, payroll, and workers’ compensation insurance into one easy-to-use platform. Premiums are based on real-time payroll data, so your clients can say buh-bye to those nasty audit surprises.

Finally, include the demand for your proposed offers—and your sales strategy for how your insurance products meet the needs of your potential clients.

Financial Plan

How your agency earns money—and when you can expect it to turn a profit—is crucial for securing lending and making sure you have a stable cash flow. Your financial plan should include your:

  • Projected costs: How much will it cost initially to open your agency, purchase office furniture and supplies, and hire and train agents? How much will your ongoing expenses (like rent, advertising, health insurance and other employee benefits, and salaries and commissions) cost?
  • Estimated cash flow: How much money do you expect your agency to generate and spend over time—and how much of that revenue is profit?
  • Break-even analysis: What is the sales forecast for how many policies you need to sell before you’ve covered the cost of opening and running your insurance agency? At what point does your agency become profitable?

Generally, your financial plan should cover at least three to five years. If your agency is already established, you should support your financial plan with  balance sheets , cash flow statements,  income statements , and other financial statements. 

If your agency is a startup, you should include detailed estimates and projections supported by industry or competitor data. 

Similarly, you might want to provide monthly or quarterly projections for your first year in business (vs. annual projections for the following years) to help explain and emphasize how viable your agency will be in its first year—as well as when you expect to break even or achieve profitability.

How Profitable are Insurance Agencies?

Insurance agencies may see a profit margin of about 10% or more, however that number can vary widely based on agency size, where you're located, what you sell, demand, and your efficiency.

Funding Request

If the purpose of your insurance agency business plan is to request funding, you need to specify how much cash you need—and what you need it  for . Start by outlining the type of funding you need—like a bank loan or investment funds—and how long you need the funding to last. You should also outline your preferred structure—like debt or equity—and any repayment terms.

Then nail down the details.  Create a budget  that stipulates how the money will be used. Make sure to also tie your request into your overall financial plan. Ideally, funding should sustain your agency until it meets its break-even point and a stable cash flow—and how you plan to do that should be clearly outlined in your business plan.

Insurance Agency Business Plan Template

Creating a business plan can seem complex at first, especially if you’ve never done it before. The good news? You don’t need to start from scratch. 

This customizable template can help you get started. Just use it as an outline, fill it in with details about your business, and voila! You’ve got your plan.

Easy-to-Use Outline

Text Copied to Clipboard

insurance agency startup business plan

Agency name

Mission statement

Products and services

Management team background

Employee information

Location/market information

Brief marketing plan description

Brief financial information:

Projected costs

  • Growth plan

Company Description

Legal structure

Organizational chart

  • Target market

Business history

Competitive advantage(s)

SWOT analysis

Product #1: Description, price, sales projections

Product #2: Description, price, sales projections

Competitive analysis: Competitor #1

  • Market share
  • Products offered

Competitor #2

Marketing strategy

Product demand

Sales strategy

Estimated cash flow

Break-even analysis

Financial statements

  • Balance sheet/projections
  • Cash flow statement/projections
  • Income statement/projections
  • Other financial documentation

Amount of funding required

Reason(s) for funding

Type of funding requested

How long of a period funds needs to cover

Preferred funding structure

Repayment terms

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Other Things to Do When Creating Your Plan

Now that you understand the importance and benefits of a business plan for your insurance agency, let’s jump into a few things to keep in mind while creating your plan to ensure that it sets the stage for launching a successful insurance agency: 

  • Define your brand identity: Your agency’s brand—its name, purpose, and values—helps it stand out from your competition and draw in new customers. Defining and committing to your agency’s identity helps you establish trustworthiness and reliability.
  • Apply for licenses and permits: Small businesses are subject to local and state laws that might require you to obtain a business license, insurance coverage, and other types of licenses and permits. And because the insurance industry is so heavily regulated, check with your state’s  insurance department  to learn if you require any additional licenses or permits.
  • Research potential funding options: When it comes to funding, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Compare and contrast different funding options—like self-funding, taking out a loan, looking for investors, or even crowdfunding—and choose what makes the most sense for your agency.
  • Identify potential insurance companies to represent: Before you launch your agency, research potential insurance carrier partners to find those that align with your goals and values. Partner with insurance companies that offer the types of insurance products your ideal clients want—at the prices they’re willing to pay—and don’t dismiss the importance of exceptional customer service.

Tips for Presenting Your Business Plan

After you’ve drafted your business plan, the final step is to present it to interested lenders and investors. But how do you successfully present your plan for an insurance agency with confidence?

  • Set up an in-person meeting: A face-to-face meeting helps humanize the people behind your plan—you and your management team. It also gives you a chance to establish and build credibility, field any questions, and demonstrate your excitement and passion for launching your new business. If meeting in person isn’t doable, set up a video conference to recreate the face-to-face experience.
  • Use a clean, detailed, and professional layout: Your business plan should be legible, concise, and direct. Make sure it appears professional by proofreading it to correct any typos or misspellings. Include clear charts that support your claims and statements. Finally, make both digital and physical copies to distribute (and print extras—just in case!).
  • Practice and rehearse your presentation: Come prepared to answer any questions that your business plan might not have covered or that a lender needs extra clarification about. That doesn’t mean you need to memorize your presentation word-for-word, but you should have a solid idea of your plan’s specifics and certain important details, like your break-even point or the amount of funding you’re requesting.

Plan to Set Yourself Up for Success 

Starting a small business is hard. And in the competitive insurance space, you need every competitive advantage you can get to set yourself up for success when launching an insurance agency. 

Writing an insurance agency business plan can help you outline—and commit to—your goals and objectives, giving you a clearly-defined path to success.

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How to Create a Business Plan for an Insurance Agency

An insurance agency desktop, where a business plan is being forged.

If the adage is true that even the greatest enthusiasm is no substitute for planning, independent insurance agents know that both are required in order for an agency to succeed.

An insurance agency business plan is therefore essential, especially for brand-new agencies in addition to established firms. A thoughtfully developed plan provides you direction for your efforts and structure for ongoing business development.

Without a plan, all you have is good intentions – and those won’t get you where you want to go. A map, on the other hand, will.

With this in mind, let’s dive into how to create a business plan for insurance agents and the things you’ll need to do to set your agency on the path to success.

Why is an agency business plan important?

A well-constructed insurance agency business plan helps you to set realistic goals, define your needs for specific resources, and focus your attention on the essential must-dos for accelerating your business.

As the principal, you must continually refine your vision for what you ultimately want to achieve: the type of business you want to run, its operations, its cash flow, its culture, and its workflows. Then, you can list the necessary steps to reverse-engineer the ideal agency that you’ve pictured.

Not only will the business plan for your insurance agency serve as a tool for internal management and decision-making, but it’s also extremely useful in conveying the vision for your business to other parties. Among these are investors, lenders, and potential partners – and new insurance carriers will often want to review your agency’s business plan before they’ll partner with you.

It’s worth noting that over time, the business plan for an insurance agency can and will change, and the agency owner must be flexible in both thought and execution as a new agency is forged. For example, you may envision writing a large portion of your agency’s book of business in a certain line, and later discover that market conditions or intense competition will encourage you to pivot to other lines that may also prove profitable.

What should be included in the business plan for an insurance agency

Agency principals will create a comprehensive summary that mindfully considers everything from the agency’s location and target markets to the products it will offer.

To get started, let’s review the various sections that make up a comprehensive business plan, and how each section contributes to the overall plan’s effectiveness.

Your insurance agency business plan should run about 5,000 words, outlining the following in detail:

  • An executive summary detailing your “vision” for your agency
  • Description of your company
  • List of the insurance products your agency plans to offer
  • Business analysis of your market
  • Your agency’s marketing strategy
  • Organizational structure
  • Your agency’s financial plan
  • Agency funding needs

If you’re already thinking, “I’m not a writer; I can’t do this,” fear not. You’re summarizing what you’re setting out to achieve and how you plan to get there – not writing a sonnet. Once you start writing, you’ll be surprised how far you’ll get.

The aforementioned word count, while a solid goal, isn’t set in stone. Don’t pad what you’re writing; stick to the facts. In the end, your business plan should be thorough, useful to you, and appealing to investors.

Let’s break down each of these sections one by one.

Executive summary

Think of this section as a concise overview of the overall business plan for your agency – your mission statement. Include highlights of your agency’s mission, goals, and its competitive advantage. Highlight your agency’s projected growth and potential profitability.

Be realistic and truthful in your assessments. It’s good to be optimistic, but not pie-in-the-sky level, especially for new agencies. Remember, you could find yourself answering to an investor sometime in the future.

Company description

Here’s where you explain what makes your agency special. Tell your story powerfully. What’s your vision for your organization? How would you describe your company culture ? How do you recruit new talent ?

What is your target market? What are your customer demographics? Who will be selling, and what are their strengths? How do you manage your relationships with your insurance carrier partners? What types of agency technology do you leverage in your customer service efforts?

Offer details on what you consider your unique selling proposition. Do you offer specialization in certain lines of business? If so, explain the inherent value in the expertise you possess.

Keep this question in mind as you write: What makes your firm exceptional, and why would someone want to invest in it?

List of products

The composition of your agency’s book of business is critical , and here you’ll lay out exactly what products you’re selling (or plan to sell). Provide a detailed breakdown of the insurance products and services offered by your agency, including a brief explanation of each product’s features and benefits.

In addition, include ideas for expanding your product lineup in years to come.

Market analysis

Investors and carriers alike want to know that you possess comprehensive knowledge of both your local insurance market and the forces influencing the wider industry. Offer analysis of your agency’s target market, including the demographics of your potential clients.

Then, provide a thorough analysis of the insurance industry’s current challenges and evolving exposures, with emphasis on how those trends affect the types of clients you serve. (This section doesn’t need to be exhaustive – again, don’t pad it – but it should reflect your macro perspective on the P&C market as well as how market forces will factor into your pricing and risk selection.)

Marketing strategy

How do you market your agency to prospects? Do you utilize digital marketing, social media, or create content that will resonate with potential customers? Community engagement is key in endearing your business to local prospects, as are networking events.

Detail your marketing strategy, and explain which types of outreach you’ve found most effective.

Note: As an agency owner it’s especially important to be flexible with your plans in this area, as certain approaches may prove less effective over time. When they do, you’ll need to pivot.

Organization and management

Effective leadership and a clear organizational chart will contribute greatly to your agency’s success. In this section, lay out your agency’s organizational structure – the hierarchy of your leaders. Include profiles of key team members, highlighting their various expertise.

Financial plan

Here’s where you begin to get more detailed on dollars and cents. Offer your realistic financial projections for your agency, taking into account expenses, revenue, and projected profitability.

Your projections should include a breakdown of any and all financial forecasts and possible variables taken into consideration. Contingency plans to address potential financial challenges should likewise be included.

Agency funding

Your agency’s financial needs are assessed in detail here. Apply your knowledge of what you want your agency to achieve, versus what it will cost. This includes (but is not limited to) rent, payroll, utilities, phone service, and business insurance.

Include the purpose behind each expenditure, and demonstrate how funding for your firm will be used to cultivate growth.

By the time this section is complete, you’ll have an informed understanding of exactly what it will cost to fund your organization – and how much you may need to borrow to manifest your vision. Provide an outline of potential sources of funding, including personal investments, loans, or investors.

What is the Best Business Structure for an Insurance Agency?

There are several business structures you can consider for your agency, each with various benefits. These include:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation

There are various legal, financial, and operational factors to consider in selecting the structure that’s best for you, which we’ll explore in greater detail in a future blog.

How your insurance agency business plan will evolve

As your agency evolves over time, so too will your firm’s business plan. It’s best to revisit and refine your overall plan at least every seven to 12 months, in order to chart your progress and adopt new strategies that will help to continuously drive revenue.

The path to agency success is long and at times extremely difficult, but thoughtful planning will aid your firm’s execution and growth for years to come.

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Crafting an Effective Insurance Agency Business Plan

If you're an independent insurance agent, you know that success doesn't happen by chance. It requires strategic planning and a clear roadmap for the future. That's where an insurance agency business plan comes into play. 

In this guide, we'll explore what a business plan is, why it's essential, and how to create one tailored to your home insurance agency.

At a glance:

  • Crafting a well-defined insurance agency business plan provides strategic direction and goal-setting for success.
  • A comprehensive business plan allows for adaptability in an ever-evolving industry.
  • Defining your brand, researching funding options, and staying compliant with regulations, are the ingredients that can transform your business plan into an effective tool for growth.

Benefits of having a business plan

Having a solid roadmap is like holding a compass in a dense forest. It not only guides you on how to become a successful insurance agency, but also ensures you stay on course.

Strategic direction

So let’s continue that analogy: you’re on a road trip without a map, compass, or GPS. You might eventually reach your destination, but it would be a long and uncertain journey. Similarly, running an insurance agency without a business plan is like traveling without a guide. A well-crafted plan provides a clear path and helps you stay focused on your goals.

Goal setting

Setting realistic and achievable goals is vital for any business. Your insurance agency business plan acts as a compass, allowing you to establish clear objectives. Whether you want to increase your client base, revenue, or expand your services, a business plan helps you chart the course.

Investor confidence

If you find yourself in a place to seek external funding, whether from investors or lenders, a comprehensive business plan is a must. It demonstrates that you've thought through your business strategy, increasing your chances of securing financial support.


The insurance industry is never stagnant, and as such adaptability is key. A business plan isn't set in stone; it's a living document that can be adjusted as circumstances change. If done correctly, it allows you to stay flexible and make informed decisions as market trends shift.

Key components of an insurance agency business plan

Your business plan is the document that transforms your vision into a tangible reality, ensuring your journey as an independent insurance agent is not only successful but prosperous too. 

Let’s explore the key components of an effective business plan, including the executive summary, company overview and more. 

Executive summary

The executive summary serves as the elevator pitch for your entire business plan. It's designed to capture the reader's attention and give them a quick, compelling overview of your insurance agency. You'll want to concisely highlight your agency's mission, vision, and goals. Think of it as distilling your agency's essence into a few powerful sentences. It's an invitation for the reader to learn more about your agency's journey.

Company overview

The company overview is your opportunity to introduce your insurance agency in detail. It's where you set the stage for the rest of your business plan. In this section, you’ll want to dive into the history of your agency, including its founding story, location(s), and size. You should also describe every type of insurance product you offer and provide a snapshot of what makes your agency unique.

Industry analysis

The industry analysis puts your industry knowledge to good use. It's all about understanding the broader insurance market, including its trends, challenges, and opportunities. In this section, you'll research and present data and insights into the insurance industry. Discuss market trends, regulatory changes, and any challenges that could impact your independent agency. Identifying opportunities within the industry allows you to position your agency effectively to take advantage of them.

Customer analysis

Understanding your target market is essential for tailoring your services and marketing efforts effectively. Create detailed buyer personas that encompass their needs, preferences, and pain points. This information is the foundation for developing products and services that resonate with your audience.

Competitive analysis

Knowing your competition is about gaining insights into their strengths and weaknesses. When performing your market analysis, or market research, be sure to look at factors like their market share, marketing strategy, pricing models, and customer service practices. Understanding how you stack up against the competition will help you develop a winning strategy that sets your agency apart.

Marketing plan

Your marketing plan is the strategic playbook for how you'll attract and retain clients. Specify your marketing channels, both online and offline; outline your budget and set measurable goals. Whether it's through digital advertising, content marketing, or print advertising, your marketing plan should maximize your independent insurance agency's reach and impact.

Operations plan

The operations plan is the behind-the-scenes blueprint for how your independent agency runs day-to-day. Detail your team structure, office setup, and technology requirements. It's about ensuring smooth workflow and efficient service delivery. This section gives a clear picture of how your agency operates on a daily basis.

Management team

Your management team is the engine that drives your agency. Introduce the key members of your management team and highlight their expertise. Explain how their skills and experiences contribute to the agency's success. 

Financial plan

The financial plan is the heart of your business plan. It's where you demonstrate that your agency is not just a vision but a financially viable venture. For any enterprise, including insurance agencies, it’s important to provide detailed financial projections in your business plan, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Set clear financial goals and explain how you intend to achieve them.

Tips for creating an effective insurance agency business plan

Creating an insurance agency business plan is akin to crafting that roadmap we talked about earlier. But here's the twist—this isn't just any road; it's twisting and on an ever-changing landscape. To navigate it successfully, you need more than just directions; you need insider tips and tricks.

Define your brand

Your brand is more than just a logo; it's who you are. Define your brand identity, including your mission statement, core values, and unique selling proposition. A strong brand will set you apart in a crowded market.

Research funding options

If you need capital to start or expand your agency, explore different funding options, which could include personal savings, loans, or investors. Your business plan should outline your funding needs and how you intend to secure the necessary capital.

Apply for licenses

Ensure that you comply with all regulatory requirements in your area. This includes obtaining the necessary licenses and insurance policies to operate legally. Failing to do so could jeopardize your agency's success.

Set goals and establish metrics

Your business plan should include specific, measurable, and time-bound goals. Track key performance indicators to measure your progress and adjust your strategy accordingly. Regularly reviewing and updating your plan keeps you on the path to success.

A strategic roadmap for success

For an independent insurance agency, a well-crafted business plan is not simply a document; it's a dynamic tool that provides strategic direction, fosters adaptability, and instills investor confidence. By defining your brand, understanding your market, and detailing your operational and financial strategies, your insurance agency business plan becomes the compass guiding you through the complexities of the industry. 

With clear goals, a solid management team, and a proactive approach to change, your agency can navigate the insurance industry effectively, ensuring not only agency survival but also sustainable growth

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Launch Your New Insurance Agency With This Business Plan Template

Launch Your New Insurance Agency With This Business Plan Template

Whether you're a brand new agent or one with several decades of experience, the idea of opening a new insurance agency probably seems daunting—where do you start?

One of the first things you’ll need to do is come up with a business plan for your insurance agency. After all, you can walk into a bank or a potential investor’s office looking for funding, but you won’t get very far unless you have a robust insurance agency business plan that proves you’re on the right track toward turning a profit in the near future.

Follow the steps below when building out your insurance business plan to maximize your chances of securing funding and getting your new agency off to a strong start.

7 Steps To Build Your Insurance Agency Business Plan

1. develop your executive and business summaries..

In business plan terms, the executive summary is the driving force behind your other decisions. It should explain why you’re starting your agency. The business summary is similar, but it should narrow down your “why” into a list of “hows.”

Ask yourself:

  • Why do you want to open an agency?
  • What types of insurance do you wish to sell?
  • What do you hope to accomplish?
  • What return on investment do you expect to receive?
  • How are you going to generate demand and ensure supply for your service?

Jot your answers down so you can refer back to them as you move forward.

2. Decide whether you want to be a captive agent or an independent agent.

Many large agencies, such as Allstate and Farmers, work with captive agents who can only sell insurance for that specific provider. Independent agents, on the other hand, can sell insurance for multiple providers, but they get locked out of working with the big-name captive carriers who only work with captive agents. (Read more about captive agents here and get a seasoned agent’s POV on both types of agents here. )

Before you can nail down the details of the rest of your business plan, you’ll have to make a choice between these two options.

3. Do a market analysis.

Though it might seem like a tedious process, conducting a thorough market analysis is crucial to your success. Analyzing your local market—including the backgrounds, shopping behaviors, and preferences of your target customers—gives you the insights you’ll need to attract these folks to your business.

Your market analysis will look a little different depending on whether you prefer to be a captive or an independent agent. The state you live in is another factor that will affect your analysis—in fact, it may even influence your decision to be captive or independent.

Take a close look at the demographics of your region.

  • How many homeowners live in your state?
  • What’s the average insurance premium per home?
  • How many people live in each home, on average?
  • How many drivers live in your state?
  • How many vehicles does the average household own?
  • Do you live in an area with an aging population ?
  • How many families live in your region?
  • What insurance carriers do locals in your state gravitate toward?
  • In your area, what might be some successful strategies for retaining clients (rather than just acquiring them)?

These questions are all important, but pay particular attention to the last one. If you open an agency without a plan for client retention, you’re going to struggle. And, unfortunately, this is one of the most overlooked aspects of an insurance agency business plan.

4. Identify where you’ll find your first clients.

It’s one thing to know there are X number of potential clients living in your state, but it’s quite another to have a plan that will help you reach out to those folks and land your first policy sales.

Some investors will require a list of leads before they’ll even consider funding your agency. Even if it’s not a requirement, it’s always a good idea to have a pipeline ready to go. This is where getting set-up for purchasing warm leads from EverQuote can put you in a great position for success.

Plus, tackling this step before you even open your doors will help you better understand the costs you’ll incur—and therefore how much startup funding you will need.

You might also consider other options, such as placing ads in local newspapers, going to networking events, investing in digital marketing, sponsoring local Little League teams, or asking for referrals.

5. Create a financial plan.

Many new agencies fail because their owners overlooked something critical during startup. Do your best to look at your financial plans from every angle:

  • Where will you find leads, and how much will they cost?
  • What is your advertising budget?
  • Does this budget line up with the going rates of local newspapers, billboards, or online ads?
  • Do you plan to have 1099 employees or W2 employees selling insurance for your agency?
  • How will you decide on a commission and benefits structure for these employees?
  • What retention and loss ratios (for clients and employees) do you expect based on the numbers of other agencies in your area?
  • How will you handle the delay between policy renewals and income hitting your bank account?
  • If there are X amount of people shopping for insurance in your area, what percentage of those people are in a niche you can serve?
  • From that percentage of potential clients, how many do you think you can successfully land?
  • If you sell policies to these customers, how much will you earn from their premiums?
  • How do your projected profits compare to your expected advertising costs, the cost to buy leads, office rent, and other expenses?

Take detailed notes of your calculations, and try to run the numbers a few different ways to obtain a conservative outcome, a likely outcome, and a “best case scenario.”

6. Draw up a formal business plan using a proven format.

Your notes will be incredibly valuable as you move forward, but you’ll need a way to present them clearly and concisely in a way that looks attractive to investors.

Loan officers and investors don’t want to read long-form essays detailing your business background and your ideas for the future. Keep your format simple and straightforward, with clear sections that answer the questions investors will want to know.

We recommend a format similar to the following:

Executive Summary Overall mission Primary objectives Keys to success Financial plans Profit forecast for at least three years Business Summary Business overview Summary of startup costs Funding you’ll require Company executives/ownership Services Services you provide Market Analysis Overall business analysis Details of your competition Buying patterns of your competition Your planned buying patterns Market segmentation and analysis Target market strategies Include details for each market segment Strategy Your competitive edge Marketing strategy Sales strategy Yearly sales projections Key milestones Management Your plan for finding staff Financial Plan Funding you have accepted Funding you will need Detailed startup costs Calculations for your break-even point Projected profit Yearly profit Gross and net yearly profit Anticipated losses, if any Cash flow patterns Plans for balance sheet Calculations of important business ratios

7. Revise and adjust your plan over time.

You may not secure funding for your agency immediately. Even if you do, you’ll likely find that your real world numbers don’t match up exactly with your calculated projections. Plus, carriers frequently change their underwriting policies, and the economy itself is always in a state of flux.

Keep your business plan current by updating the information anytime circumstances change.

Start your journey with a full lead pipeline from EverQuote.

One of the scariest parts about starting a new agency is not being certain where and when you’ll be able to start making sales.

Skip the fear and the unknown and go right to making sales with warm real-time leads from EverQuote. Whether you’re still trying to find startup funding or your doors are already open, you can always boost your business and maximize your chances of a steady income by working with EverQuote.

Connect with us today.

Download Now: Home Insurance Best Practices & Lead Scripts To Help Grow Your Agency

Topics: Featured , Insurance Agency Growth

About the Author Chris Durling, VP of P&C Sales

Picture of Chris Durling, VP of P&C Sales

Chris Durling is a visionary leader in P&C insurance sales and distribution, with over 10 years of experience in the industry.

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April 20, 2020

How to create a business plan for your insurance agency, 12 min read.

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Topic: Insurance Marketing Insurance Agency Management sales Start an Agency Grow an Agency

“What’s the plan?”

That’s the question my wife and I ask each other every day about 3:00 in the afternoon. We have pretty busy lives with multiple businesses, children, hobbies, and activities to manage. So, probably just like you, we need a plan to get it all done!

If a plan is important for getting a family through the day, how much more important is a plan for an insurance agency with customers to serve, sales to make, companies to satisfy, and employees to manage?

It’s critical.

But who has time to plan with all that going on?

That’s a great and valid question. The other one for the typical Type A insurance business owner is, “Can I get someone else to do it for me?” and, “What’s the minimum planning that will yield the most impact?” 

Assuming you have goals to meet and would like every day to be something other than crisis management, let’s take a look at this from a high level. 

Getting Started With Your Business Plan

Creating a business plan sounds like work, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. Really, this process is as simple as putting on paper your three-to-five-year goals and general means to achieve them. 

For example, this is a super-simple plan template:

What are sales going to be each year for 3 years?

Net profits? What do you want your balance sheet to look like? 

What is your ideal business mix? What products and services do you want to sell the most of?

What kind of customers do you want to serve? What do they look like demographically (i.e. target market)?

How many employees does it take to get this done? 

A plan can be a whole lot more complicated, and potentially more valuable, but if you have lots to do, this takes a couple of minutes and it’s a great start.

Consider This Question To Help You Focus:

During lunch with a successful entrepreneur in a business completely unrelated to mine, he asked me this wonderful and powerful question during our meal.

“What are the best opportunities in front of you right now?”

That question really focuses the mind.

I was able to give him an immediate answer and listed for him four priorities for myself and my team. We have more than four opportunities in front of us, so I was interested in my own immediate reaction. You see, like most entrepreneurs and small business owners, I am constantly seeing opportunities and weighing my capabilities and interests.

I answered my friend with four things and a quick note as to why they were important and valuable for our business. It didn’t take a lengthy market analysis or sales forecasting - the question really helped me to focus, prioritize, and verbalize what I want to capitalize on out of many choices. It happened in an instant and will now guide us as we plan for the next year or two - this is the simplest version of an executive summary and it will guide our sales strategy.

OAA Highlight - How to Create A Business Plan

Most successful business owners are highly focused people, who don’t pursue every single business idea that runs through their heads. They understand that resources like time, capital, and people are limited. Regardless of their relative level of optimism (an absolute requirement and one of the main keys to success opportunities, but the more successful they become, the more realistic actual opportunities are for them.

So, as they go about building a bigger and bigger future, choosing which opportunities to pursue every year of operation becomes an ever more important task.

As we face the future and the demands of many others who want us to focus on their priorities (opportunities!), choosing which things we will concentrate our efforts on becomes a critical decision for every insurance agent and businessperson.

What about you? What are the best opportunities in front of you right now? Those are the ones to focus your planning.

Let’s Do Some Thinking

Everyone, and every business, is different. I start planning for the next year in the fourth quarter of the year before. Your timing may be different than mine. But you do set aside time to think about the business and plan for the coming year, don’t you? Or do you just let it happen?

This is a great time to be honest with ourselves about this! Let me suggest that if you don’t do annual thinking that you consider it. It’s not hard. It doesn’t have to take a long time but is really important in sustaining growth .

Here are some of the things I think about.

What can we accomplish?

What is a revenue goal that is achievable within our current capabilities? As I think about this I ponder the knowns about what the market is doing and which insurance products are more likely to sell.

Are rates up or down? Has the weather this year been good or bad?

What can we expect from Profit Sharing and PMSF (you do get PMSF, don’t you?)

What kind of activity and results are our current marketing efforts producing? How is our market share?

What is going to happen to overhead next year? 

Do we have rent increases, automation increases, or other overhead cost increases coming?

What about employee benefits and payroll?

Do we need additional employees to manage the expected normal growth?

Do we have a place for them to work? Equipment to use?

When do we need them?

Now comes the fun part! 

What could we do if we really stretched ourselves? 

If we are to do that, what else must we do?

Do we need to increase marketing investment?

Are there any potential investors we should talk to?

Hire additional people? Modify compensation strategies?

Open another office or expand this one?

Add a CRM program?

These and endless other things can and should be considered.

We can’t develop a plan for our business until we spend time thinking about it. Perhaps you do this ad hoc from time to time, but now is the time to organize your thinking and your thoughts and start putting things in written form, even if it’s just a few paragraphs. It’s time to think!

Now, Let’s Do Some Planning

I’ve described the thinking process that I use during the early fall to begin to get ready for a productive, growing period in the coming year. The results of the current year are beginning to take shape and the business environment is more clearly understood. After the thinking process comes planning.

Relax! This doesn’t have to be, nor should it be, complicated or time-consuming for a growing agency. Let me encourage you to make a plan that can be put on one sheet of paper. Two at the most. 

If you can’t describe your plans for a year in that space you probably can’t do it all either.

How I Do It

What I do is take the things I’ve uncovered in my thinking process and first use them to create a simple budget:

I increase current year results by what I think is the “steady as she goes” growth and expected rate, profit sharing, PMSF and other revenue changes should produce and put that in a month by month spreadsheet.

Then I take the overhead thinking I’ve done and put that into the expense ledger. Now I’ve got a simple budget. Is the result of that budget what I want it to be based on my goal setting? Or not? If not, I begin to tweak.

Once the budget is all tweaked up I turn to the thinking about the growth goals I want. What does that do to income? What expense increases are required? Those go down on paper and I work on this until I’m satisfied.

This is still not planning! This is budgeting. Now comes the plan:

  • What will be required to get the results we are forecasting? (See the next section!)
  • When and how will we market ?
  • What changes to our website, social media , phone program, referral program, etc. do we need to make?
  • Do we need more employees , insurance companies, cell phones, or other tools? When and where do we plan to acquire them?
  • What else do we need to schedule to do to make the budget work out?

This is planning! See, it’s not hard. It’s really easy when you think about it first!

Now that you’ve done the thinking and planning, next year will be easy. And if you execute on the simple plan you’ve built, tweaking as you go, you’ll get wherever it is you want to go!

More Things to Consider for Your Business Plan

How much activity do you need to get the results you want.

The “Silver Bullet” to agency growth is activity. One of the natural questions is how much? How much activity will it take to get x results? Really, the question is what do I need to do? What do I need to plan for? 

Great questions!

To answer your questions I need a little more information. So, here are my questions to you:

What is your growth goal?

What is your average sale?

What is your closing ratio?

How do you get prospects?

Let’s assume I want to add $25,000 in commission revenue to my agency (growth goal). And let’s assume my average sale nets me $450 (note: this is commission, not premium). 

Let’s also assume I’m an average salesperson and my closing ratio is 35%. Lastly, let’s assume I get my prospects from a direct mail campaign and my response rate is 1.5% of pieces mailed. 

From these assumptions “how much” becomes very clear. 

  • I need 56 sales! ($25,000 goal divided by $450 average sale).
  • I need 160 prospects! (56 sales divided by 35%).
  • I need to mail 10,650 mail pieces (160 prospects divided by 1.5%)

Don’t get hung up on whether you think direct mail is the best way to advertise, or whether you think my closing ratio is good or bad. That’s not the point. The point is, if you know some very basic numbers, you can figure out very easily how much activity you need to reach your goal!

Everyone has a different idea about the best way to sell insurance. We all have different goals, talents, resources, and abilities. But we can all achieve our goals with the appropriate amount of activity. 

Success is simple. Figure out “how much”. Then go do it!

Pay the Business First

One of our Agency Development team recently met with one of our agencies to work with them on business planning. This is a great thing, because without a plan it is virtually impossible to grow rapidly. This particular agent is my favorite kind of person: a dreamer with big dreams! They are ambitious, hard-working, and highly motivated

In their discussions, the agent and our Development Specialist talked about the agent's desire to hire producers and to build their own office building. Both are potentially great ideas. However, there is a small problem: money.

Our agent owner didn't have any…

When we start our businesses, we entrepreneurs usually need every nickel we can find, right? Every dollar that isn't nailed down often finds its way into gasoline, rent, or shoes for the kids. This is normal. But as the business begins to prosper there is a choice to be made: buy nicer stuff, or feed the business.

OAA Highlight - How to Create A Business Plan

We often see agencies with little or no working capital, and without working capital, you simply can't expand, because you can't fund a producer. What bank is going to lend you money on a building when you haven't got any? None. Those days are gone forever.

My partner and I started our agency in 1996, and we didn't take a profit out of the business - not even to pay taxes - until 2003! We were reinvesting all our money in the business.

This is what you must do if you want to keep growing. That doesn't mean you can't take money to improve your family's situation - you can. Do that by increasing your salary over time.

But if you want to keep growing, give the business a raise before you give yourself one. 

Our method was to decide each year what the business was going to make in net profits. Until that number was satisfied we didn't get paid and we didn't get a raise either. This method allowed the business to have the money - its lifeblood! - that it needed to keep expanding.

Look around at the successful people you know. The businesses you admire. Very few of them got where they are except by following this little principle:

Pay The Business First!

Make sure your hours match your business plan .

The world is changing. Technology is taking customers away from us. The new world demands a higher level of service and availability from anyone who wants to sell anything.

If, as an independent agent, personal service is the competitive advantage that will help you reach your goals, why aren’t you open more?

I was at the office on a Saturday morning, and I received a nice note from one of our new members about one of our great team members (thanks Natalie!). I fired off a quick “thank you” to the member and said, “Glad to see another entrepreneur working on a Saturday!”

What was interesting was his response, which I quote verbatim:

“Yep. Many can only come in on Saturday. Plus set up apt to sign two Travelers app issued via Access Plus. And doing an auto and home app for Safeco.”

Why was he working on a Saturday?

Because that was the only time prospects and customers can come to see him.

It seems obvious that anyone trying to sell anything would go where the customers are when they are there.

So, why are almost all insurance agencies only open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm? By now, even banks have figured out for a couple of decades now that they need to be open past 5 o’clock and be open on Saturday. 

Mom and Pop businesses all across America have wrung their hands while they went bankrupt when Walmart came to town. They complained they couldn’t compete on price.

I think it’s much more than that. They refused to compete on service. They weren’t there when the customer needed them.

When will insurance agencies get the message? Before for or after bankruptcy?

Build Your Business Plan for the Long Term

“you must prepare for the future if you want one.”.

Plant acorns.

Tyler Asher, President of Safeco Insurance Company, made this headline statement in a speech to an SIAA semi-annual meeting in Boston. His comment was made in the context of a list of things his company is working on to sustain their growth and prepare for a future insurance market, much different from today’s.


If you just take the statement at face value it makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Of course, we must all prepare for a bigger future if we want one, and oak is a great symbol of strength and stability. I was immediately captivated by the idea.

But, where the analogy breaks down for me is that it takes a long time to grow oak trees, and the future is coming upon us with breathtaking speed. Do we really have time to grow oak trees?

Then I thought again about a Jeff Bezos quote I wrote about where he says he is more concerned about what stays the same in the next 10 years than about what changes. 

I’ve decided that it’s the intersection of Asher and Bezos where we, as independent agency owners, need to focus.

For example, it’s estimated that 60% of the employees in our industry will retire in the next seven years, and if you believe “Outliers” author, Malcolm Gladwell, it takes at least five years (10,000 hours) to train an expert in anything. 

I believe, channeling Bezos, that customer service and person-to-person selling will be as important to agency success in the future as it is now. So, how are we going to replace the oak trees (people) in our industry fast enough to secure our future?

I don’t have an answer. But, it’s an incredibly important question for anyone who plans to continue to make this industry their career in the decade ahead.

In our organization, we are creating a streamlined training curriculum, coupled with third party courses and old fashioned apprenticeship, to meet our needs for new blood. Frankly, it’s expensive to do this. But the only other options are to hire other’s problems (which is getting harder and more expensive to do) or go out of business.

The need to invest in new people comes while commission compression and new competition (in the form of online sellers) are beginning to stress some agency income statements. As Tyler Asher points out, you must prepare for the future if you want one. 

Viewed in this way, spending on new employees is an investment, not a cost, and the promise of the future is a profitable business built for the long term.

The UnCaptive Agent

Tony Caldwell

Tony Caldwell is a modern “renaissance man,” who is not only immensely successful in the field of insurance, but is also a writer, children’s advocate, mentor and even a licensed pilot. Always keen on helping others make their dreams come true, Tony and his team have helped independent agents grow into more than 250 independent agencies. This has made OAA the number one ranked Strategic Master Agency of SIAA for the last 5 years, and one of Oklahoma's 25 Best Companies to Work for. Tony loves to share his knowledge, insight and wisdom through his bestselling books as well as in free mediums including podcasts and blogs. Tony and his family are members of Crossings Community Church, and he is very active in community initiatives: he’s chairman of It’s My Community Initiative, Inc., a nonprofit working with disadvantaged people in Oklahoma City; and chairman of the Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs., and he has served through many other organizations including the Salvation Army, Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Rotary Club. In his spare time, Tony enjoys time with his family. He’s also an active outdoorsman and instrument-rated commercial pilot.

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How to Create an Insurance Agency Business Plan

All companies need a solid business plan. A business plan gets you off on the right foot, creates a blueprint for your success, and can help you secure outside funding from investors and financial institutions if you need it.

For insurance agencies, many insurance carriers will require you to submit a business plan before they partner with you. Unfamiliar with the process? Here are the basic steps to create an insurance agency business plan.

As a leading Insurance Marketing Organization (IMO), Good Life Insurance Associates (GLIA) provides a full range of insurance products, services and tools to support your individual clients’ wants and needs. Learn More

1. Write an Executive Summary

All business plans start with a strong Executive Summary. This is a relatively small section that serves as the introduction to your insurance agency.

The Executive Summary should serve as the guiding force of your insurance agency. It can include things such as your mission statement and why you’re opening your agency—if you’re a startup. If your company has had past successes, you can detail these in your Executive Summary as well.

This section should also include your areas of specialty, the opportunity in the market, your plan for capitalizing on the opportunity, and how you plan to separate yourself from the competition.

2. Describe Your Company

In this section, you’ll dive deeper into the key aspects of the business. You’ll highlight what makes your insurance agency special. You’ll also want to outline the general structure of your business, such as whether you’re a limited partnership, a general partnership or a sole proprietorship.

Next, outline your company’s history—or your personal history if your company is new. Then, describe how your insurance agency will fill a demand in the market.

End the section with a short analysis of how your company will earn a profit. This part can include a full analysis of your market so you can show how you’ll delineate yourself from other insurance agencies.

Within this company description section, you can also discuss the structure of your organization. This should include the owners of the company and their background as well as the critical decision makers and their pertinent skills.

3. Outline Your Products

This section will describe the products and/or services that your insurance agency will offer. You should break down in detail not just the areas you’ll cover but the costs and revenue that you anticipate for each.

For example, you’ll want to include a detailed breakdown of renters insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance and any other products you plan to offer. Show a projection for each insurance category and the value that you’ll deliver for that category.

It’s important that you fully describe all the basics of each insurance category in this section. Assume that the person who will be reading your business plan will not be fully familiar with what you do.

You shouldn’t get too technical with these categories, so you don’t confuse the reader of the document. Avoid buzzwords that the industry uses, and go with the most basic descriptions you can provide. It’s important that your insurance agency business plan is easy to read and understand.

4. Communicate Your Strategy for Sales and Marketing

Any good business plan will describe in detail what the plan is to market and sell the products being offered. This section of your business plan should describe your strategy for reaching customers and then selling them insurance. You should detail your plan for generating and nurturing leads from first contact through final sale.

This plan should include the channels you use to reach this audience. For instance, do you plan on using traditional print media, social media, email, content marketing or some combination of all of the above?

Once you’ve detailed your marketing plan, it’s important to outline how you’ll close deals. This should include not only your internal strategy in terms of personnel and how you’ll sell, but offers, pricing and value propositions that should be attractive to customers.

5. Detail Your Financials

The final section of an insurance agency business plan will describe one of the most important aspects of any business: your financials. Starting and running any business requires money. This part of the business plan will describe how you’ll obtain that money to get your business off the ground.

Many investors and/or financial institutions will focus heavily on this section of your business plan when they’re making a decision about whether to loan you money or invest in your business.

This section should include a cashflow statement, profit-and-loss statement, sales forecast and balance sheet. If your insurance agency is a startup, you should include projections for all of these, with data and facts to back up your projections.

You could boost your case by providing an analysis of your agency’s break-even mark, which will include how much you need to earn in revenue to make a profit. This section should also include what money you’re bringing to the table to fund your insurance agency, including any personal money or other outside funding you’re using.

The financials section can be highly technical, so you may want to seek the assistance of a certified public accountant when preparing some of these documents.

Start Your Own Insurance Agency Today

Are you tired of earning only 50% of your commissions for 100% of your work? Are you ready to live the Good Life? When you join GLIA, you’ll gain access to top-notch technology and premium carriers who will help you eliminate the middle man. Our goal is to give advisors in our network the opportunity to increase their independence and earn more than ever before. With a full suite of insurance products and support services, we’re making it easier than ever for individuals to start their own independent insurance agency!

Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.

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Insurance Agency Business Plan Guide + Free Example

insurance agency startup business plan

July 6, 2023

Adam Hoeksema

The insurance agency industry offers substantial potential for growth and success. While some may perceive managing an insurance agency as a simple task, involving only policy sales and customer interactions, it actually requires careful planning and precise execution to thrive. Therefore, having a well-structured business plan is crucial for achieving success in this industry.

Our primary expertise lies in creating insurance agency financial projections . However, we understand that some of our clients seek comprehensive business plans. That's why we've taken the initiative to delve into this topic and cover the following aspects in our comprehensive insurance agency business plan guide and sample plan: 

Why write a business plan for an insurance agency?

What to include in an insurance agency business plan, insurance agency business plan outline, what type of insurance agency to start, how to analyze the competition for an insurance agency, how to create financial projections for an insurance agency, example insurance agency business plan, insurance agency business plan faqs.

Creating a well-structured business plan is crucial for insurance agency owners seeking financial support from investors, banks, or financial institutions. This plan should encompass a comprehensive evaluation of the insurance market, a clear and strategic approach, and a thoughtful assessment of potential risks and rewards. By showcasing your in-depth understanding of the insurance industry, your growth strategies, and your capability to navigate challenges, a robust business plan increases the likelihood of attracting the necessary funding for your insurance agency venture.

An insurance agency business plan should present persuasive reasons why clients will choose your agency's services, demonstrate why you or your team are the ideal operators for the insurance agency, and provide a robust financial projection to assure potential investors and lenders of the investment's viability. Below is a comprehensive outline of our complimentary insurance agency business plan template.

We suggest the following sections for your Insurance Agency business plan:

Executive Summary

Company Description

Market Analysis

Product and Service Offerings

Marketing Plan & Customer Acquisition

Operating Plan

Financial Plan

Choosing the right type of insurance agency will depend on your interests, expertise, and the market demand in your area. Here are some common types of insurance agencies you could consider starting:

General Insurance Agency:

A general insurance agency deals with a wide range of insurance products, including auto insurance, home insurance, business insurance, liability insurance, and more. This type of agency offers a diverse portfolio of insurance products to cater to a broad customer base.

Specialized Insurance Agency:

Instead of offering a wide range of insurance products, you can focus on a specific niche or industry. For example, you could start a health insurance agency, life insurance agency, or a commercial property insurance agency. Specializing can allow you to become an expert in a particular area and build strong relationships with clients in that niche.

Independent Insurance Agency:

Independent agencies work with multiple insurance carriers, giving them the flexibility to offer a variety of insurance products from different companies. This model allows you to compare coverage options and find the best policies for your clients' needs.

Captive Insurance Agency:

A captive agency represents a single insurance company and sells only that company's policies. While you have less flexibility in terms of product offerings, captive agencies often benefit from the support and training provided by the parent insurance company.

Online Insurance Agency:

With the rise of digital technology, you could consider starting an online insurance agency. This model allows you to reach a broader audience and provide insurance services through a website or app. It can be a cost-effective way to start and operate an agency.

Insurance Brokerage Firm:

Instead of focusing on selling insurance policies directly to clients, you could start an insurance brokerage firm. As a broker, you would act as an intermediary between clients and insurance companies, helping clients find the best coverage at competitive rates.

Before deciding on the type of insurance agency to start, conduct thorough market research to assess the demand for different types of insurance in your area. Also, consider your own skills, knowledge, and passion for specific insurance sectors. Having a clear understanding of your target market and your own expertise will guide you in making the right decision for your insurance agency. Additionally, make sure to comply with all legal and licensing requirements for insurance agencies in your region.

When it comes to analyzing the competition in the insurance agency industry, there are a few valuable tools you can use, with one of the most useful being Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is a powerful SEO tool that enables you to research and dissect your competitor insurance agencies' online presence. By inputting a competitor's website into Ahrefs, you can gain valuable insights into their organic traffic and the specific keywords responsible for driving that traffic.  For example, in Indianapolis we can see that Carson Insurance Agency is receiving roughly 100 monthly visitors from organic traffic.  

insurance agency startup business plan

The tool provides valuable data on your competitor's organic traffic and highlights the keywords that are leading visitors to their website.

insurance agency startup business plan

By understanding the keywords and SEO strategies employed by your insurance agency competitors, you can tailor your content and marketing strategies to effectively compete in the same areas or identify niche segments that may be underserved. This knowledge can help enhance your insurance agency's online visibility, attract more customers through search engines, and position your business for success in the competitive insurance industry.

SWOT Analysis: While not a digital tool SWOT analysis can be incredibly helpful in analyzing competition. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. By comparing these aspects between your agency and your competitors, you can identify areas where you might have a competitive edge or areas where you need to improve. Many business websites and educational institutions offer free SWOT analysis templates and guides that can be easily adapted for an insurance agency.

In the insurance agency industry, financial projections are influenced by distinct factors such as client acquisition rates, policy pricing, seasonal demand, and operational expenses. Using an insurance agency financial projection template can simplify the process and boost your confidence. However, accurate financial projections serve a greater purpose than just showcasing revenue potential; they paint a clear picture of the path to profitability and the achievement of your insurance business goals. By considering these crucial elements, you can create a solid financial plan that guides your agency towards success and ensures the realization of your objectives.

To create precise projections, follow these key steps:

Estimate startup costs for your insurance agency, including office space, technology infrastructure, licensing and certifications, marketing, and initial staff training.

Forecast revenue based on projected client acquisition rates, average policy premiums, and potential growth in your customer base.

Project ongoing operational costs , such as staff salaries, rent, technology maintenance, marketing expenses, and administrative overhead.

Estimate costs related to providing insurance policies and services, such as commission payouts to agents, underwriting expenses, and claims management.

Calculate the capital needed to launch and sustain your insurance agency, covering initial expenses and providing working capital for continued growth.

While financial projections are essential for your insurance agency's business plan, seek guidance from experienced professionals in the insurance industry. Adapt your projections based on real-world insights, leverage industry resources, and stay informed about insurance market trends and evolving customer preferences to ensure your financial plan aligns with your goals and positions your insurance agency for long-term success.

Explore our comprehensive Insurance Agency Business Plan below. For your convenience, a downloadable Google Doc version of this insurance agency business plan template is available, allowing you to personalize and tailor it to your specific needs. Additionally, a helpful video walkthrough is provided, guiding you through the process of customizing the business plan to perfectly align with your unique insurance agency concept.

Table of Contents

1. executive summary.

1.1 Organization Overview

1.2. Objectives

1.3. Mission Statement

2. Organization Description

2.1. Organization History

2.2. Legal Structure

2.3. Unique Value Proposition

2.4. Target Beneficiaries

3. Market Analysis

3.1. industry overview.

3.2. Collaborator and Competitor Identification

3.3. Target Beneficiaries

Key Point  1

4. Marketing and Fundraising

4.1. Strategic Plan

4.2. Program or Service Offerings:

4.4. Distribution Channels

4.5. Promotions and Fundraising

Key Point  2

5. Organizational Structure and Management

5.1. Organization’s Facility & Location

5.2. Staffing Plan and Volunteer Management

5.3. Governance, Financial Management, and Accountability

Key Point  3

6. financial plan.

6.1. Startup Costs

6.3. Expense Projections

6.4. profit and loss statement, 6.5. cash flow projections, 6.6. break-even analysis, 7. appendix.

7.1. Supporting Documents

7.2. Glossary of Term

7.3. References and Resources

Key Point  5

 1.1. company overview.

Briefly introduce the company's background, products or services, and target market.

      -  Example: SecureRide Auto Insurance Agency is a leading provider of auto insurance solutions in Atlanta, Georgia. We specialize in offering comprehensive coverage options tailored to meet the unique needs of drivers in the area.

   1.2. Objectives

Outlines the company's short-term and long-term goals.

        - Example: Establish SecureRide as the go-to auto insurance agency in Atlanta, capturing a significant market share and achieving a 40% increase in policyholders within the first year. 

        - Example: Long-term: Expand our presence in Georgia and neighboring states while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.

  1.3. Mission Statement

 Describes the company's purpose and core values.

        - Example: At SecureRide, our mission is to provide reliable and affordable auto insurance coverage to drivers in Atlanta. We are committed to ensuring our customers have the peace of mind they deserve on the road by delivering exceptional service and tailored insurance solutions.

  1.4. Keys to Success

Highlights the factors that will contribute to the company's growth and success.

        - Example: Delivering competitive pricing and flexible coverage options tailored to our customer's needs. We prioritize superior customer service, ensuring responsiveness, transparency, and personalized support

2. Company Description

   2.1. company history.

Provides context on the company's background and founding story.

        - Example: SecureRide Auto Insurance Agency was established by Mark and Emily Roberts, who have a combined experience of over 20 years in the insurance industry. Mark brings expertise in risk assessment and underwriting, while Emily has a strong background in sales and customer relations.

   2.2. Legal Structure

 Describes the company's legal structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation).

        - Example: SecureRide Auto Insurance Agency operates as a limited liability corporation (LLC)

 2.3. Unique Selling Proposition

  Emphasizes the company's competitive advantage or unique offerings.

        - Example: SecureRide sets itself apart by offering customizable auto insurance coverage tailored to each client's specific needs. Our advanced technology allows for quick and accurate quotes, efficient claims processing, and a seamless customer experience.

  2.4. Target Market

Defines the company's ideal customer base.

        - Example: Focuses on serving the residents of Atlanta, Georgia, and its surrounding areas. Our primary target market includes drivers of all ages and backgrounds who seek reliable, affordable, and comprehensive auto insurance coverage.

  Presents a general overview of the industry, its trends, and growth potential.

        - Example: The auto insurance industry in Atlanta, Georgia, is a thriving and competitive market, driven by the high number of vehicles on the road and the state's insurance requirements. With a growing population and an increasing emphasis on vehicle safety, the demand for reliable auto insurance coverage is expected to continue rising.

3.2. Competitor Analysis

 Evaluates the company's direct and indirect competitors, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

        - Example: Direct competitors: Atlanta Auto Insurance Company: A national insurance company with a branch in Atlanta, providing a wide range of auto insurance policies. 

        - Example: Indirect competitors:  EasyInsure Online: An online insurance platform that allows customers to compare and purchase auto insurance policies from various providers. 

3.3. Target Market Analysis

Explores the company's target customers, their demographics, preferences, and pain points.

        - Example: SecureRide’s target market in Atlanta, Georgia consists of young professionals, families and homeowners, commuters and business professionals, high-value vehicle owners, and retirees and seniors. 

3.4. Market Opportunities

Identifies potential opportunities for the company to grow within the market.

        - Example: SecureRide can seize market opportunities by leveraging digital marketing strategies to reach a broader audience, offering innovative coverage options such as usage-based insurance, and establishing partnerships with local car dealerships and auto repair shops. 

insurance agency startup business plan

  • Example 1: Conduct a survey among Atlanta residents to assess their knowledge of auto insurance providers and their satisfaction with existing options. This will help identify gaps in the market and potential opportunities for SecureRide. (e.g., 65% of surveyed residents are unaware of any specialized auto insurance agencies in Atlanta, indicating a potential market niche)
  • Example 2: Analyze the market share and customer satisfaction ratings of established auto insurance companies in Atlanta to understand the competitive landscape and areas for differentiation. (e.g., Company X holds a 30% market share but receives consistently low customer ratings for claims handling, suggesting an opportunity for SecureRide to excel in customer service)
  • Example 3: Keyword search volume to see growth in demand or specific types of boutique insurance needs

4. Marketing and Sales Strategy

4.1. product or service offerings: .

Describes the company's products or services in detail.

        - Example: SecureRide offers a comprehensive range of auto insurance coverage options, including liability insurance, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and additional specialized coverage for high-value vehicles or specific driver profiles.

4.2. Pricing Strategy

 Outlines the company's approach to pricing its products or services.

        - Example: SecureRide adopts a competitive pricing strategy based on market analysis, offering affordable premiums and flexible payment options to ensure accessibility and value for customers.

4.3. Sales Strategy

  Explains how the company plans to generate sales and build

customer relationships.

        - Example: SecureRide will leverage a multi-channel sales approach, utilizing a combination of online platforms, direct sales efforts, and strategic partnerships with car dealerships and automotive service providers.

 Describes the methods through which the company will deliver its products or services to customers.

        - Example: SecureRide primarily operates through its physical office location in Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, the company will have an online presence through a user-friendly website and mobile app allowing customers to conveniently access information, request quotes, and manage their policies.

4.5. Promotions and Advertising

 Details the company's promotional efforts and advertising strategies.

        - Example: SecureRide will implement targeted digital advertising campaigns, including search engine marketing, social media advertising, and online display ads, to increase brand visibility and attract potential customers.

insurance agency startup business plan

  • Example 1: Develop partnerships with local car dealerships and auto repair shops to offer exclusive discounts on insurance policies to their customers. This can generate initial traction and referrals. (e.g., SecureRide establishes partnerships with three prominent car dealerships, resulting in 50 policy sales within the first month)
  • Example 2: Launch a targeted digital marketing campaign that emphasizes SecureRide's competitive rates, personalized customer service, and quick claims processing. This can attract potential customers seeking a more customer-centric auto insurance experience. (e.g., The campaign generates 500 leads and converts 20% of them into policyholders within the first quarter)
  • Example 3: Build a social following or Youtube channel that simplifies auto insurance for everyday people that can serve as a possible customer base when the business launches.

5. Operations and Management

5.1. facility location and layout.

 Specify the agency’s physical business location and refers to the internal arrangement and organization of the space.

        - Example: SecureRide is strategically located in a prime area of Atlanta, Georgia, ensuring easy accessibility for clients and proximity to major transportation routes. The facility is designed with a customer-centric approach, providing a welcoming reception area, private consultation rooms, and a well-organized layout that promotes efficient workflow and privacy for sensitive discussions

5.2. Staffing and Expertise: 

Ensures the agency can effectively serve its clients and provide comprehensive insurance solutions.

        - Example: SecureRide has a team of experienced insurance professionals who possess in-depth knowledge of the auto insurance industry, including underwriting, claims processing, risk assessment, and customer service. 

5.3. Customer Service:

 Involves the process of providing support to policyholders and potential customers throughout their insurance journey.

        - Example: Customer satisfaction and retention are key objectives for SecureRide. The agency strives to deliver personalized assistance to clients, addressing their insurance needs, offering guidance in policy selection, and providing prompt and efficient claims assistance. 

insurance agency startup business plan

  • Example: SecureRide's founding team brings a wealth of industry experience, ensuring a deep understanding of the auto insurance landscape and customer needs. For example, Mark Roberts, the CEO, has over 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, specializing in auto insurance. Sarah Roberts, the COO, has a background in risk management and claims handling, ensuring efficient operations and superior customer service.

5.4. Technology and Systems:

Refers to the utilization of advanced technological tools, software systems, and digital platforms .

        - Example: SecureRide leverages advanced insurance management systems and technology solutions to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and improve customer experience. These systems enable seamless policy management, online quoting and applications, secure data storage, claims processing, and effective communication with clients. 

All of the unique Insurance Agency projections you see here were generated using ProjectionHub’s Insurance Agency Facility Financial Projection Template . Use PH20BP to enjoy a 20% discount on the template. 

   6.1. Startup Costs

  Provide a detailed breakdown of the total startup costs requirements, and where you plan for those funds to come from. You will also want to breakdown how the startup costs will be used including working capital to cover losses before the business breaks even.

        - Example: Creating a solid financial plan is crucial, and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure the success of SecureRide. We estimate needing around $190,000 to cover our startup costs as well as cover losses until we become cash flow positive. $90,000 will come from personal investment & a small equity investment from another partner, and then we are seeking a $100,000 business loan.

insurance agency startup business plan

6.2. Revenue Projections

Provides an estimate of the company's future revenue based on market research and assumptions.

        - Example:  SecureRide projects $359,000 in revenue in the first year. The company anticipates steady growth in revenue over the initial five-year period.

insurance agency startup business plan

 Estimates the company's future expenses, including fixed and variable costs.

        - Example: SecureRide's expenses include property lease, accounting, advertising, commissions, utilities, and software costs.

insurance agency startup business plan

Summarizes the company's revenue, expenses, and net income over a specific period.

        - Example: SecureRide’s expects to achieve profitability within the first few years of operation.

insurance agency startup business plan

 Outlines the company's projected cash inflows and outflows.

        - Example: SecureRide cash flow projections account for fluctuations & onboarding additional agents.

insurance agency startup business plan

  Determines the point at which the company's revenue equals its expenses.

        - Example: SecureRide anticipates reaching its break-even point in year 3 but the industry is very low margin.

insurance agency startup business plan

Watch how to create financial projections for your Insurance Agency

insurance agency startup business plan

Key Point  4 

insurance agency startup business plan

  • Example 1: Benchmark SecureRide's projected premium rates against industry averages and adjust accordingly to remain competitive while ensuring profitability. (e.g., SecureRide's projected average premium rate aligns with the industry average, indicating a realistic pricing strategy)
  • Example 2: Conduct a thorough analysis of loss ratios and claim settlement ratios in the auto insurance industry to estimate SecureRide's potential expenses for claims payouts. (e.g., SecureRide projects a 70% claim settlement ratio, based on industry benchmarks, to ensure adequate reserves for potential claims)
  • Example 3: Evaluate potential risks and their financial implications, such as increased competition, supply chain disruptions, or changing market conditions. (e.g., A 5% increase in the price of coffee beans could lead to a 2% decrease in CozyCorner's net profit margin)

   7.1. Supporting Documents

 Includes any relevant documentation that supports the information presented in the business plan, such as resumes, financial projections, market research data, and permits or licenses.

   7.2. Glossary of Term

 Provides definitions for industry-specific terms used throughout the business plan to ensure reader comprehension.

   7.3. References and Resources

Lists any sources or resources referenced during the preparation of the business plan, including industry reports, market research data, and relevant publications.

insurance agency startup business plan

  • Example: SecureRide's founders demonstrate their commitment to the business by investing a significant portion of their personal funds into the company's initial capital. They are also willing to personally guarantee loans and secure necessary insurance licenses and certifications, showcasing their dedication and belief in SecureRide's success.

How do I start an insurance agency?

To start an insurance agency, you'll need to obtain the necessary licenses and certifications, develop relationships with insurance carriers, determine your target market and insurance specialties, establish an office or online presence, create a marketing strategy, and hire and train staff.

How can I attract clients to my insurance agency?

To attract clients, develop a strong online presence and professional website, network with other professionals and businesses in related industries, offer valuable content through blog posts or educational resources, utilize social media platforms, and provide exceptional customer service.

What types of insurance should my agency offer?

The types of insurance your agency should offer may vary based on your target market and expertise. Consider offering common insurance lines such as auto, home, life, health, business, and specialty coverages based on the specific needs of your clients.

How can I stay updated with the latest insurance trends and regulations?

Stay updated with the latest insurance trends and regulations by joining industry associations, attending relevant conferences or seminars, participating in continuing education programs, subscribing to industry publications, and actively engaging with insurance carriers and professional networks.

How can I build trust and credibility as an insurance agency?

Build trust and credibility by providing transparent and reliable insurance information, maintaining strong relationships with reputable insurance carriers, offering personalized coverage recommendations, being responsive to client needs and inquiries, and being actively involved in the community you serve.

About the Author

Adam is the Co-founder of ProjectionHub which helps entrepreneurs create financial projections for potential investors, lenders and internal business planning. Since 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs from around the world have used ProjectionHub to help create financial projections.

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How To Write an Insurance Company Business Plan + Template

Business Plan-MB

Creating a business plan is essential for any business, but it can be especially helpful for insurance companies that want to improve their strategy and/or raise funding.

A well-crafted business plan not only outlines the vision for your company, but also documents a step-by-step roadmap of how you are going to accomplish it. In order to create an effective business plan, you must first understand the components that are essential to its success.

This article provides an overview of the key elements that every insurance company owner should include in their business plan.

Download the Ultimate Insurance Business Plan Template

What is an Insurance Company Business Plan?

An insurance company business plan is a formal written document that describes your company’s business strategy and its feasibility. It documents the reasons you will be successful, your areas of competitive advantage, and it includes information about your team members. Your business plan is a key document that will convince investors and lenders (if needed) that you are positioned to become a successful venture.

Why Write an Insurance Company Business Plan?

An insurance company business plan is required for banks and investors. The document is a clear and concise guide of your business idea and the steps you will take to make it profitable.

Entrepreneurs can also use this as a roadmap when starting their new company or venture, especially if they are inexperienced in starting a business.

Writing an Effective Insurance Company Business Plan

The following are the key components of a successful insurance company business plan:

Executive Summary

The executive summary of an insurance company business plan is a one to two page overview of your entire business plan. It should summarize the main points, which will be presented in full in the rest of your business plan.

  • Start with a one-line description of your insurance company
  • Provide a short summary of the key points in each section of your business plan, which includes information about your company’s management team, industry analysis, competitive analysis, and financial forecast among others.

Company Description

This section should include a brief history of your company. Include a short description of how your company started, and provide a timeline of milestones your company has achieved.

If you are just starting your insurance company , you may not have a long company history. Instead, you can include information about your professional experience in this industry and how and why you conceived your new venture. If you have worked for a similar company before or have been involved in an entrepreneurial venture before starting your insurance company firm, mention this.

You will also include information about your chosen insurance company business model and how, if applicable, it is different from other companies in your industry.

Industry Analysis

The industry or market analysis is an important component of an insurance company business plan. Conduct thorough market research to determine industry trends and document the size of your market. 

Questions to answer include:

  • What part of the insurance industry are you targeting?
  • How big is the market?
  • What trends are happening in the industry right now (and if applicable, how do these trends support the success of your company)?

You should also include sources for the information you provide, such as published research reports and expert opinions.

Customer Analysis

This section should include a list of your target audience(s) with demographic and psychographic profiles (e.g., age, gender, income level, profession, job titles, interests). You will need to provide a profile of each customer segment separately, including their needs and wants.

For example, the customers of an insurance company may include individuals, families, small businesses, and large corporations.

You can include information about how your customers make the decision to buy from you as well as what keeps them buying from you.

Develop a strategy for targeting those customers who are most likely to buy from you, as well as those that might be influenced to buy your products or insurance company services with the right marketing.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis helps you determine how your product or service will be different from competitors, and what your unique selling proposition (USP) might be that will set you apart in this industry.

For each competitor, list their strengths and weaknesses. Next, determine your areas of competitive differentiation and/or advantage; that is, in what ways are you different from and ideally better than your competitors.

Below are sample competitive advantages your insurance company may have:

  • Specialized industry knowledge
  • Proven track record
  • Strong customer relationships
  • Robust product offerings
  • Innovative solutions

Marketing Plan

This part of the business plan is where you determine and document your marketing plan. . Your plan should be clearly laid out, including the following 4 Ps.

  • Product/Service : Detail your product/service offerings here. Document their features and benefits.
  • Price : Document your pricing strategy here. In addition to stating the prices for your products/services, mention how your pricing compares to your competition.
  • Place : Where will your customers find you? What channels of distribution (e.g., partnerships) will you use to reach them if applicable?
  • Promotion : How will you reach your target customers? For example, you may use social media, write blog posts, create an email marketing campaign, use pay-per-click advertising, launch a direct mail campaign. 
  • Or, you may promote your insurance company business via word of mouth.

Operations Plan

This part of your insurance company business plan should include the following information:

  • How will you deliver your product/service to customers? For example, will you do it in person or over the phone only?
  • What infrastructure, equipment, and resources are needed to operate successfully? How can you meet those requirements within budget constraints?

The operations plan is where you also need to include your company’s business policies. You will want to establish policies related to everything from customer service to pricing, to the overall brand image you are trying to present.

Finally, and most importantly, in your Operations Plan, you will lay out the milestones your company hopes to achieve within the next five years. Create a chart that shows the key milestone(s) you hope to achieve each quarter for the next four quarters, and then each year for the following four years. Examples of milestones for an insurance company include reaching $X in sales. Other examples include expanding to a new geographic market, launching a new product or service line, or signing on new major customers.

Management Team

List your team members here including their names and titles, as well as their expertise and experience relevant to your specific insurance industry. Include brief biography sketches for each team member.

Particularly if you are seeking funding, the goal of this section is to convince investors and lenders that your team has the expertise and experience to execute on your plan. If you are missing key team members, document the roles and responsibilities you plan to hire for in the future.

Financial Plan

Here you will include a summary of your complete and detailed financial plan (your full financial projections go in the Appendix). 

This includes the following three financial statements:

Income Statement

Your income statement should include:

  • Revenue : how much revenue you generate.
  • Cost of Goods Sold : These are your direct costs associated with generating revenue. This includes labor costs, as well as the cost of any equipment and supplies used to deliver the product/service offering.
  • Net Income (or loss) : Once expenses and revenue are totaled and deducted from each other, this is the net income or loss.

Sample Income Statement for a Startup Insurance Company

Balance sheet.

Include a balance sheet that shows your assets, liabilities, and equity. Your balance sheet should include:

  • Assets : All of the things you own (including cash).
  • Liabilities : This is what you owe against your company’s assets, such as accounts payable or loans.
  • Equity : The worth of your business after all liabilities and assets are totaled and deducted from each other.

Sample Balance Sheet for a Startup Insurance Company

Cash flow statement.

Include a cash flow statement showing how much cash comes in, how much cash goes out and a net cash flow for each year. The cash flow statement should include:

  • Cash Flow From Operations
  • Cash Flow From Investments
  • Cash Flow From Financing

Below is a sample of a projected cash flow statement for a startup insurance company business.

Sample Cash Flow Statement for a Startup Insurance Company

You will also want to include an appendix section which will include:

  • Your complete financial projections
  • A complete list of your company’s business policies and procedures related to the rest of the business plan (marketing, operations, etc.)
  • Any other documentation which supports what you included in the body of your business plan.

Writing a good business plan gives you the advantage of being fully prepared to launch and/or grow your insurance company . It not only outlines your business vision but also provides a step-by-step process of how you are going to accomplish it. All in all, a business plan is a key to the success of any business.  

Finish Your Insurance Business Plan in 1 Day!

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How To Write an Insurance Agency Business Plan + Template

Agency Performance Partners


Insurance Agency Business Plan: How To Get Started

Posted on November 6, 2023 by Michelle Aguilar

Introduction to the Insurance Agency Business Plan

We get to the end of the year and it’s time to sit down and create your insurance agency business plan! For some agency owners they love this time of year, for others, it may be something they delay. 

However, we know hope is not a strategy, and aligning your team resources and energy is important to make sure you are running your agency and not vice versa. However, sitting with a blank page can be overwhelming. 

In this blog, we will give you an outline of how to get started on your annual insurance agency business plan. 

For some agents, they think a business plan is only needed when you first open your agency. However, every year it’s an opportunity to refocus and refresh your plans and strategy. 

We find in many insurance agencies the team is without a plan and they want to know where the agency is going! 

For this reason, we encourage every agency to sit down and create an annual insurance agency strategic plan!

Here are the top reasons your agency should create an annual insurance agency business plan:

  • Your agency grows and develops each year you need to recalibrate the team
  • Plans on what investments to make
  • Identifications of the biggest problems and solutions
  • Clarity for your team and where to focus
  • Define success! Too often we keep grinding and don’t take a moment to realize we are winning!

Let’s take a moment to identify how to get started building your plan! 

Step 1: Review Current Business Performance

To plan for the future you want to make sure you review your year and performance. If your insurance agency created a plan last year, that is a wonderful place to start! How far did you get in your plan?

Here is a list of things to think about and or review that may help you get started in reviewing your agency’s performance. 

  • As an owner what do you love and hate about your agency? Be honest – this is a great starting point to identify what is not serving you.
  • Identify the insurance agency’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
  • Yes – is that still on track?
  • No – this may be something you want to identify!
  • The owner/leader’s job description. This can be very fluid. Is it clear what you should be spending your time on?
  • Activity Reports – What is your team up to?
  • Overdue Activities – How backlogged is your team?
  • Book of business – What does your book look like?
  • Lost Business – Who’s leaving and why?
  • New Business – How are you winning? 

Another area you want to make sure to spend some time on is getting your team’s feedback. They may have a different perspective. 

You want to gather their feedback. The great news is we have a document you can use to gather their feedback for review!

November 2023 - Freemium Download

Once you gather your team’s feedback, take some time to review it – remember their perspective is their version of reality! 

Step 2: Setting Insurance Agency Goals 

Now that you have a clear picture of where you are and have been it’s now time to identify where you want to be. To set a goal it’s important to know where you want to go and who you want your agency to be! 

Your goals need to connect to your ultimate target. Too often agencies select random goals and they rarely get stuck because they are disconnected. 

To start building your goals you want to have 2 things handy:

  • Your agency’s 10 year Vision (what is your target 10 years from now)
  • Your agency’s values (what are the norms and rules you live by)

As you set your goals they may not all be about selling new policies. It may be getting people on EFT, running off the bottom 10% of your book, or cross-selling.  The vision has to drive the goals. 

As you’re setting goals they need to be so clear that there is no question!

We recommend looking at SMART goals:

  • Specific: You need to put a number to it!
  • Measurable: You need to be able to easily get the data and digest it!
  • Achievable: Is it something that with some effort and energy can be achieved and do you have all the tools you need
  • Relevant: Do the goals relate to your 10-year vision
  • Time: What is the deadline?

At APP we recommend your agency take your goals seriously! It’s critical you know what winning looks like. 

If you have a BIG goal we do also encourage you to put some milestones on your journey so you can celebrate being on track.  

Step 3: Reviewing the Insurance Market and Growth Opportunities

At the time of writing this blog we are experiencing a hard market. Every year you create your insurance agency business plan the market will shift and change. 

There are several market factors to consider:

  • Insurance carrier market conditions
  • Local insurance trends and law changes (for example when marijuana is legalized in a state it presents an opportunity)
  • Local agency changes (agencies selling, merging, gaining or losing carriers)

Every market condition represents opportunity if you have a strategic plan. Too many insurance agencies get stuck when a challenge arises or they are late to the party. Reviewing and researching your market allows you to position your agency to capitalize. 

Allow me to review this hard marketing we are experiencing in 2023. 

Agencies that have been following the Agency Performance Program are in positions to capitalize:

  • The team has clear job descriptions
  • Every member of the team has an incentive
  • There is clear tracking to work from facts not feelings
  • The team is already making proactive renewal reviews so the clients trust the agency
  • The sales team has as sales process to reject the unqualified leads and focus on the qualified leads

In a hard market these agencies are in a position to boost marketing and referrals because they are ready and primed to act. Agencies that do not have these items in place are struggling to build trust and scrambling with remarkets. 

Having a strategic plan based on your market will position you for the maximum growth. 

Step 4: Insurance Products and Services

At APP we believe in a 360 client. This means that every client has all the policies they can with the agency. If we can focus on earning the business from our existing clientele we reduce lead costs and boost retention. 

Too many agencies focus all on new business and miss a very equitable lead source – your clients. 

In looking at your agency it’s critical you identify if you have the right product mix and expertise. Here are some considerations:

  • Personal Lines
  • Commercial Lines
  • Life Insurance
  • Health Insurance/Medicare
  • Financial Planning Services
  • Risk Management Services

For some agencies you may be able to coordinate this in-house. For others, you may need to find a team member or strategic partnership. 

All too often agencies identify plans but we never really see it through. In your insurance agency strategic plan we highly recommend you outline a full plan, goals, and marketing plan to see it through. 

We see that agencies often focus on their comfort zone or agencies make some of these other policies optional when in fact it needs to be a requirement that every team member understands at a high level the services and how they work as well as how to transfer opportunities. 

The key to success in cross-selling is monitoring and measuring the progress – and making it a requirement. 

November 2023 - Evergreen

Step 5: Marketing & Lead Generation

In connection with selling more to your current clients your insurance agency should also be focused on expanding your reach. Personally, at APP I see agencies spend far too little on marketing and branding in comparison to other non-insurance agency businesses. 

This is generally caused due to lack of understanding and confidence in how to market the agency. 

In your insurance agency business plan, I recommend that you evaluate your current marketing strategy and also identify what you want to invest in for the year. 

There is so much your agency can do for low cost but high time expenditure. We recommend agencies at a minimum have the following marketing strategies in place:

  • High quality easy to use website
  • Search Engine Optimization (blogs, keywords, and ability to find your website for your target audience)
  • Social Media posts and interactions
  • Email marketing automation 
  • Online Reviews
  • Referral program 

This is the 101 strategy of insurance agency marketing. Many agencies may be looking to take it to the next level! If you do not have these items in place this is your starting point!

We also want to make sure that your agency has a solid sales process .  Your agency may not need more leads; you may need a better sales process.  

Step 6: Technology and Automation

The future of the independent insurance agency channel is technology-supported operations. It’s not complete operations via technology that are assisting your team. The challenge we have in the insurance space is technology is still lagging behind other industries. Insurtech is making great strides but we have some way to go. 

Integrations can be clunky and too often agencies do not spend the time understanding and setting up the technology. This leads to confusion and often the team is not using the technology – it’s frustrating them. 

It’s also very easy to get sold on new technology. I can’t tell you how many times I have encountered the following in agencies:

  • Unused/underused systems
  • Duplication of system features
  • The team not knowing how the system works
  • Lack of accountability
  • Unclarity in the process

In creating your insurance agency business plan we recommend you stop and take a technology audit! You may want to identify if your team has the best computers, enough monitors, and also headsets (yes please headsets!)

From there, you want to identify your best tech partners. I encourage agencies to not look for the cheapest partners. 

Instead, I want to focus on the best. Some systems may be a bigger investment but offer more features or better onboarding. Your team needs fewer logins not MORE. 

If you can streamline your systems your team will thank you. 

Step 7: Insurance Agency Team Training 

As you identify your vision and business plan inevitably there will be areas you need to train and develop your team. I find that many insurance agencies do not choose to follow their vision because they can get discouraged that their team doesn’t have the skills or training today that they need to hit the target. 

Now, for many agencies, they feel training their team is impossible. Everyone is busy, will it work, will people want training?

I again ask us to get out of insurance. In any other industry, training is normal and natural. We in insurance tend to make excuses on why training is inconvenient. 

We also make excuses on why we can’t achieve the best practices targets.  

As part of your agency’s business plan make sure you add in the following:

  • What training is necessary to achieve your 10-year vision
  • Do you have the ability to train in-house or do you need to look at other vendors?
  • What is the timeline for training?

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Step 7: Insurance Agency Reporting & Tracking

As you set forth on your business plan, tracking, and reporting will be critical. Unfortunately, insurance reporting is not easy or simple. It may take some time to identify how and what track. 

However, just because it is hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible and you do need to commit to finding a way. Without a commitment to reporting and tracking you have no roadmap to success.  

Here are the common reports we recommend:

  • Activity Report: What your team is doing every day
  • Overdue Activity: What is the backlog
  • New Business
  • Lost Business
  • Book of Business

The ability to share where you are each month with your team will help you celebrate wins, identify when your off track and get clues on how to succeed. 

Conclusion on Insurance Agency Business Plans

The first year you do a business plan may be your hardest! It gets easier. You will learn what works, what doesn’t, and how much to plan. 

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Insurance Agency Business Plan

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Quaestor Services

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

Quaestor Services is in the process of being formed as a sole proprietorship owned and operated by Sheila Claflin. This plan is written as a guide for financing, start-up and management of this new business and will also serve as the basis for measurement. The following is a summary of the main points of this plan.

  • The objectives of Quaestor are to generate a profit, grow at a challenging and manageable rate, and to be a good citizen in the community.
  • The mission of Quaestor is to provide products and services with high quality, protection and value pricing.
  • The keys to success for Quaestor are variety of business services and products, personal contact, timely and accurate service, development of one-to-one relationships, and a reputation of honesty and integrity. 
  • The primary products offered will be from Whelnoan Insurance Company, and the added value to small businesses will be the accounting and financial services offered.
  • The local market for this business is wide open. Whelnoan Insurance Company has captured 23% of the market share and is considered the second largest insurance company in Plainstate. 
  • In the first year of operation, a customer base is being established. Over 85% of the new and established insurance business will renew each year creating compounding growth in sales of over 200% with limited increase in operational expense.

In conclusion, as shown in the highlights chart below, this plan projects rapid growth over the next three years with a profit forecasted in the second year of operation and continuing into future years of operation. Implementing this plan, will ensure that Quaestor Services becomes a profitable venture.

Insurance agency business plan, executive summary chart image

1.1 Objectives

The main objectives of Quaestor Services are:

  • Profit – to create enough prosperity for the owner and employees to have a secure and comfortable lifestyle.
  • Growth – to grow the business at a rate that is both challenging and manageable.
  • Citizenship – to be a social asset to the community and contribute to others who are less fortunate.

1.2 Mission

Quaestor Services is dedicated to providing insurance products and business services that provide high quality, protection, and value pricing. We wish to establish a successful partnership with our clients that respects their interests and goals.

Success will be measured by our clients choosing us because of their belief in our ability to meet or exceed their expectations of price, service, and expertise.  

1.3 Keys to Success

The keys to the success for Quaestor Services are:

  • A wide variety of business services and insurance products that are affordable, available and understandable.
  • Personal contact and service that meets or exceeds the expectations of our clients.
  • Services and products that are delivered with accuracy and timeliness.
  • Relationships with our clients that fosters renewal business.
  • A reputation in the community for it’s honesty and integrity.

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Company summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">.

Quaestor Services is a start-up company located in Smileyville, Plainstate, a suburb of Niceburg, providing both accounting and full-charge bookkeeping services and insurance and retirement products to individuals, families, and small businesses.

2.1 Company Ownership

Quaestor Services  is a sole proprietorship, owned by Sheila Claflin. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest with Native American Indian heritage, Sheila was relocated to Plainstate in 1994 by her employer. 

She has over 30 years of experience in Finance, Accounting, Management, and Consulting and recently received her Plainstate insurance agent license for Life, Health, Property and Casualty insurance.

In the near future she intends to receive her Series 6 Securities license and take H & R Block Income Tax Course.

2.2 Start-up Summary

Quaestor Services start-up costs include:

  • Marketing/Lead Services: marketing and lead generation services to establish client base
  • Website Development: professionally developed business website on the Internet
  • Logo: professionally developed business logo for business recognition in the market place
  • Stationary: the printing of letterhead and envelopes with the company logo
  • Business Cards: the printing of business cards with company logo
  • Brochures: development and printing of brochures for marketing the business
  • Cell Phone and Pager: business cell phone and pager for communication with the clients at all times
  • Office Supplies: supplies necessary to set up an office
  • Training/Licensing: costs associated with the three state licenses required for insurance business
  • Business Associations: membership into several business associations such as Chamber of Commerce

Quaestor Services long-term assets include:

  • Laptop Computer: used in meetings with clients for printing insurance quotes and on-line applications
  • PC Computer/Monitor: used in office for accounting services and record of business transactions
  • Printer/Copier/Scanner: used in office for business transactions       

Start-up costs come to $30,000 of which $15,000 is being financed by a direct owner investment. In the first six months of operation $15,000 financing is being sought after for the start-up costs. In mid-Year 1 an additional $10,000 in financing will be required to ensure business operations, marketing and stability during the first year of operation.

Insurance agency business plan, company summary chart image

Quaestor Services provides accounting and full-charge bookkeeping services, insurance and retirement products to individuals, families, and small businesses.

As a representative of Whelnoan Insurance Company the following product and services are offered:

  • Personal Lines – auto, renters, home, motorcycle, boat/yacht, snowmobile, jet ski
  • Commercial Lines – businesses, workers compensation, surety bonds
  • Life & Disability Products – term, whole, universal and variable life, long-term care, disability
  • Retirement Products – fixed, equity indexed, and variable annuities, mutual funds
  • Retirement Plans – IRA, Roth IRA, pension plans, SEP plans, SIMPLE plans
  • Life Planning Concepts – mortgage protector, business continuation, buy/sell agreements
  • Value Added Products

In the future we intend to offer the following independent products and services:

  • Health Insurance
  • Pet Care Insurance

Accounting and Full-Charge Bookkeeping Services are available at either the client’s location or in our offices on a regular, permanent basis with a schedule that accommodates the client’s needs. Rates are based on the needs of the business. These services include:

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Credit/Collection
  • Reconciliations
  • General Ledger Maintenance
  • Financial Statements

In the future we intend to offer the following accounting service:

  • Income Tax Preparation

Market Analysis Summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">

The market area for Quaestor Services will be focused on three counties, Pleasant, Niceburg and Contented, in Plainstate. These counties are experiencing a combined average growth in population over the 2000 census of 6.45%.

As of 2004, the Whelnoan Insurance Company is the second largest insurance company in Plainstate with 23% of the market share. The overall market for Quaestor is wide open. This business plan has identified over 1.3 million  individuals and business as potential clients in the market area.

4.1 Market Segmentation

Quaestor Services has targeted the following market segments:

The available market share of 77% represents the market that Whelnoan Insurance has not captured at this time. Although,the entire state is an available marketing area, the tri-county area will be the focus marketing area at this time. The total population of the tri-county area available for marketing is 29% of the total available population in Plainstate. 

The first and most important market segment is population broken down by age groups. This can be used for determining the market for personal lines of insurance such as auto and various recreational vehicles, life and life planning products.

Note that the population of 15 to 24 year olds has been separated from the available population as a market segment in itself for determining the possibility of high risk auto insurance policies.

The second market segment is housing units broken down by owner occupied and renters. This can be used for determining the market for personal lines of insurance such as home, townhouses, condominium, renters and mortgage protection.

The third market segment is small businesses with less than 20 employees. This can be used for determining the market for accounting and bookkeeping services and commercial lines of insurance including property and casualty, retirement and workers compensation.

Insurance agency business plan, market analysis summary chart image

Strategy and Implementation Summary

  • Emphasize value instead of price . Quaestor is dedicated to working closely with each client and educating them on the importance of value over price.
  • Build long term relationships . Quaestor is dedicated to establishing a successful partnership with each client, respecting their interests and goals by cultivating a long term relationship to enhance client retention.
  • Focus on increasing market share . Quaestor will focus on personal and business clients that have been identified in the targeted markets.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Quaestor’s competitive edge is our positioning as strategic ally with our clients, who are clients more than customers. By building a business based on long-standing relationships with satisfied clients, we simultaneously build defenses against competition. The longer the relationship stands, the more we help our clients understand what we offer them and why they need it.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy is the core of Quaestor’s main strategy:

  • Develop specific programs for each target market segment

5.3 Sales Strategy

Quaestor’s sales strategy will be based on systematic person-to-person contacts through referrals, direct mail, telemarketing and the Internet. A list of potential prospects has already been compiled and will serve as a launching pad for marketing the products and services.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

The important elements of the sales forecasts are summarized on three line items, Accounting Services, Insurance Sales, and Miscellaneous Revenue. The summary of the initial sales forecast indicates a first year revenue of $39,500 increasing to over $108,310 by the end of the second year, then $122,110 by the end of the third year. It should be noted that although sales triple in the second year, all revenue has been forecasted very conservatively for the three year forecast. Forecasted sales increases are overstated by the Whelnoan Insurance subsidies or Miscellaneous sales. Actual sales growth for the second year is 160% due to adding a producer for continued sales growth and exponential growth of insurance renewals. The third year of sales reflects an actual growth of 76% due mostly to the increase in insurance renewals. Each element will be discussed separately and in its entirety below: 

Accounting Services – it has been determined in order to be conservative for this forecast, that the average accounting client requires services at approximately $500 a month, or 25 hours (x) $20 hour. Obviously this can vary depending on the needs of the client, but for forecasting purposes this is the standard used in determining the monthly revenue. In addition, it is assumed that once our services are sold to the accounting client, they will continue to generate a monthly revenue until replaced. Income tax preparation which will yield a substantial increase in revenue as a future service, but is not considered in this forecast. The illustration below, shows two clients are forecasted for the second year and three clients are forecasted for the third year. Accounting clients can sometimes require substantial time at first, until the clients’ needs are defined and set up. Limited clients are being forecasted due to the time required growing the client base for insurance.

Insurance Sales – are comprised of two categories, 1) insurance-new sales and 2) insurance-renewals. The insurance products used to forecast new sales are, auto and high risk auto (renews every six months), property structures such as homes, townhouses, condominiums, renters and landlord insurance, commercial, life and all other types of recreation vehicle insurance, (renews annually).  It should be noted that in order to be conservative, not all insurance products that are offered were forecast, such as health, retirement products and plans. Whelnoan Insurance Company District Office supplied the necessary documentation needed for the formulation of the insurance sales and renewals. Sales are based on actual results (averaged) created for the first three years of a new Whelnoan Insurance agency. All numbers have been reviewed and approved by them before the forecast was entered into this business plan.  

What makes insurance sales different from other sales are the renewals. In most cases, without an increase in monthly production, the monthly income will almost double due to renewals. It has been determined by Whelnoan Insurance that customer loyalty in the first year is 87%, second year is 85% and third year is 89%. Other than auto, which renews every six months, all other insurance products renew on an annual basis. Because of renewals, it is possible to double sales revenue without increasing production costs. The following is the monthly forecast:

Miscellaneous – the amounts forecasted in Miscellaneous are Whelnoan Insurance subsidies offered at pivotal times throughout the first two years to financially support the insurance agency during the development stage. The subsidies are broken down into four categories, and require that milestone production levels be achieved before the subsidy is made available, 1) commissions on new sales 2) marketing leads, 3) office space, and 4) staff. At the end of two full years of operations as a career agent, subsidies are no longer available. The total subsidies forecasted in the first year is $13,875, in the second year $41,700, and $4,800 in third year, for a total of $60,375. 

Insurance agency business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

5.4 Milestones

The table below lists important program milestones, with dates and managers in charge. The milestone schedule indicates Quaestor’s emphasis on planning for implementation and the measurement of these activities. In addition, each milestone is important to achieving the financial forecast used in this business plan. The following is a brief description of each milestone:

  • 12/01/04-01/31/05-Business Financing – obtain the very important start-up financing necessary for the first year of operation.
  • 01/01/05-03/31/05-Career Agent – the Whelnoan Career Agent Program starts when a new agent has completed their training, received the required insurance licenses and in the last 90 days sold 30 policies including three life insurance policies. 
  • 01/01/05-02/28/05-Accounting Services (1st Client) – obtain the first monthly client for accounting services.
  • 03/01/05-06/30/05-Accounting Services (2nd Client) – obtain the second monthly client for accounting services.
  • 04/01/05-09/30/05 -Career Agent (6 months)  – the first milestone in the Whelnoan Career Agent Program. A Career Agent receives $1,500/monthly for the first six months. At the end of six months, a Career Agent’s production is checked for the number of policies issued-and-paid to determine subsidy level. Required level per financial forecast is 80 property and casualty policies and eight life policies which allows a subsidy match of commission dollar for dollar on new business commissions up to $2,000/month and a lead subsidy of $100/month.
  • 05/01/05-06/30/05-Business Financing – obtain additional financing to ensure business operations, marketing and stability during the first year of operation.
  • 11/01/05-12/31/05-Hire Agent – hire and train new agent for a start date of 1/01/06.
  • 04/01/05-03/31/06 -Career Agent (12 months) – the second milestone in the Whelnoan Career Agent Program. At the end of twelve months, a Career Agent’s production is checked for the number of policies issued-and-paid to determine a new subsidy level. Required level per financial forecast is 180 property and casualty policies and 18 life policies which allows an additional subsidy for staff at $1,500/month and office space of $750/month.

Whelnoan Insurance Subsidies are available for 24 months only or 4/1/05-03/31/07

  • 04/01/05-03/31/07 -Run to Daylight (24 months) – the third milestone in the Whelnoan Career Agent Program. At the end of twenty-four months, a Career Agent’s production is checked for the number of policies in force to determine waiver of one third of the subsidies paid to the agent. In order to be eligible, an agent must have 400 property and casualty policies and 40 life policies in force.
  • 04/01/05-03/31/08 -Run to Daylight (36 months) – the fourth milestone in the Whelnoan Career Agent Program. At the end of thirty-six months, a Career Agent’s production is checked for the number of policies in force to determine waiver of second third of the subsidies paid to the agent. In order to be eligible, an agent must have 540 property and casualty policies and 54 life policies in force.
  • 04/01/05-03/31/09 -Run to Daylight (48 months) – the fifth milestone in the Whelnoan Career Agent Program. At the end of forty-eight months, a Career Agent’s production is checked for the number of policies in force to determine waiver of last third of the subsidies paid to the agent. In order to be eligible, an agent must have 660 property and casualty policies and 66 life policies in force.

Insurance agency business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

The management philosophy of Quaestor Services is based on respect for every client, and individual responsibility. For the first year the only employee will be the owner, Sheila Claflin. In January of 2006 the financial forecast supports the hiring of an insurance agent to help increase the growth of the business. 

Quaestor’s intention is to hire only those who demonstrate the qualities necessary for working in a professional environment, and the willingness to move forward in continuing education. We will be hiring the ultimate “people persons” to provide world class service.

6.1 Personnel Plan

The Personnel Plan reflects the staffing levels required to create, and establish the customer base needed to achieve the revenues projected and reach profitability.

All insurance sales and business service personnel salaries are considered a direct cost of sales, and are listed as such in the financials .

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

Quaestor Services’ financial plan is based on obtaining a loan by January of 2005 of $15,000 to cover the start-up expenses. In July of 2005 an additional $10,000 in financing will be required to ensure business operations, marketing and stability during the first year of operation. For financial forecasting the loan is a seven year loan at an interest rate of 9.09%. Quaestor will achieve profitability in the second year.

The fiscal year is a calendar year, January through December.

7.1 Start-up Funding

Start-up costs come to $30,000 of which $15,000 is being financed by a direct owner investment. Before the first six months of operation, $15,000 financing is being sought for the start-up costs. In July of 2005 an additional $10,000 in financing will be required to ensure business operations, marketing and stability during the first year of operation.

7.2 Important Assumptions

The key underlying assumptions of Quaestor financial plan shown in the following general assumption table are:

  • We assume access to financing of $30,000 to support our financial plan.
  • We assume our financial progress is based on a very conservative sales forecast supported by data received and reviewed by Whelnoan Insurance.
  • We assume that all sales milestones have been achieved.

7.3 Break-even Analysis

The following table and chart show our Break-even Analysis. The first year due to start-up costs and expenses will not be included in the break-even analysis.

Insurance agency business plan, financial plan chart image

7.4 Projected Profit and Loss

Based on the realistic sales projections and efficient cost control measures in place, Quaestor will achieve profitability in the second year of operation. Monthly profitability is first achieved in November 2005, but due to developing a customer base, the first months of operations reflect a loss.

In the second year of operation, sales increased $68,810 or 174%, resulting in a net profit. Significant changes in the second year are the hiring of an agent in January 2006, resulting in additional costs to the direct cost of sales of $34,500 and the set-up of an office outside of the owner’s home and Whelnoan Insurance District 15 office, resulting in additional operating costs of $7,120.

In the third year of operation, sales increased $13,800 or 13%. This yields an increase on the bottom line. In the third year of operations, Whelnoan Insurance subsidies are no longer available, resulting in a decrease in Miscellaneous revenue of $36,800 over the prior year. There are no significant changes in the third year of operations.

Insurance agency business plan, financial plan chart image

7.5 Projected Cash Flow

Due the fact that Quaestor is a new start-up company, the cash flow for FY2005 is somewhat exaggerated by the instant influx of new capital. Subsequent years however show a healthy growth in cash flow, mainly due to the 84-month repayment of the start-up loan and increased sales.

Insurance agency business plan, financial plan chart image

7.6 Projected Balance Sheet

The table below presents the balance sheet for Quaestor Services. This table reflects a positive cash position throughout the period of this financial plan. The negative net worth is created in the first year due to the start-up costs showing as a negative retained earnings. As the balance sheet shows, Quaestor will not have any difficulty meeting their debt obligations as long as the conservative revenue projections are met.

7.7 Business Ratios

The table below presents common business ratios as a reference. Industry Profile comparisons are for Standard Industrial Classification code 6411.0000, Insurance Agents, Brokers and Service as the majority of our revenue comes from insurance sales. However, since the combined business of accounting/bookkeeping services and insurance sales does not fall underneath any predefined Industry dataset, the Industry ratios are not wholly accurate nor representative for Quaestor Services.

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insurance agency startup business plan

The Complete Moscow Startup City Guide

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January 10, 2019, the complete moscow startup city guide, by: anastasia borisova, published on: march 21, 2017.

Russia's capital Moscow is, despite stereotypes, a city developing its entrepreneurial identity. Find out what this city has to offer & what it takes to make it as a startup founder:

Moscow is a charming city that carries the image of several epochs of Russian history and surprises with the number of cultural events taking place during one single day. However, the recent years have made Moscow even more attractive as innovative projects have become the center of business attention and the ecosystem for startups began to grow.

Why Choose Moscow To Found Your Startup?

Being the capital, Moscow always had intensified business life. Now, it is even more saturated as young projects got new opportunities to develop. Let’s see how it happens and where to find support if you are one of those dreamers.

Advantages Of Building A Startup In Moscow:

  • Moscow is the economic center of Russia: forums and meetings take place here, people from different regions and companies can be found.
  • The Russian capital is proud of the saturation of its international connections – from a growing tourist flow to foreign companies departments.
  • It is a modern megacity with proper infrastructure (for instance, free WiFi is available in the streets and on public transport) and a large population (more than 12 million in 2016).
  • Moscow is an educational center. There are a lot of young people with a strong background and passion for changing the world. Sometimes they are ready to wfork for experience only. What’s more, the universities of Moscow create business incubators and offer special business courses.
  • The determination to develop highly innovative industries in Russia is shared by the government and businesses.
  • In general, prospective (or cool) business ideas are the matter of great public interest. Business is the major topic for a lot of media outlets.

What Founders Have To Consider:

  • Networking events are mostly in Russian. It doesn’t mean members of the community don’t speak English (most likely, they do), but the majority of services is in Russian.
  • The attitude towards new projects is rather cautious, though it is really changing now. But still, they often choose a less risky project as a partner (“They don’t believe in startups in Russia!”, entrepreneurs often say).
  • Many founders only rely on their own resources, connections, and skills instead of using special services for new projects.

Though there is a strong belief that founding a startup in Moscow would be very challenging, this perception is changing now. Capital owners learn to work with new small projects, founders learn to communicate with each other and to use available opportunities more efficiently. What is more, there will be no lack of innovations in Moscow as the availability of scientific centers makes the city very potent in constantly providing business with new technologies and ideas for products.

Dive Into Moscow’s Startup Community

The Complete Moscow Startup City Guide

Moscow startup community is represented by young scientists and entrepreneurs on the one side and professional businessmen, coaches, consultants, and experts on the other side. The life of the community is rather rich, it is hardly possible to attend all the meetings and events, but they are really worth visiting. Try the following pages to find them.

Find Info About Upcoming Events, Meetups & Other Occasions:

  • Moscow State University Business Incubator has a very useful news page. Follow them on Facebook or on Vkontakte (which is a Russian social network) to find local events and competitions.
  • Rusbase Media has an online calendar with events of innovations industry taking place across Russia.
  • The state web-portal ‘ Moscow Small Business ’ collects information about upcoming lectures, conferences, and workshops in one calendar.
  • Digital October has an interesting event-list as the place holds educational courses and events for innovative projects. They sometimes have series of weekend educational events devoted to a field of development (e.g. Blockchain Weekend , BioTech Weekend )
  • DI Telegraph is a space for educational and business forums, conferences and lectures.

Media Outlets For Startups:

  • Vc.ru media (created on basis of popular Russian media about IT ‘Zuckerberg will call’) publishes startup news in a separated section, covering interesting (or successful) ideas for projects and business events.
  • Firrma is a media outlet for technological and venture business. There you’ll find announcements of upcoming events and opinions or comments from leading people of different industries.
  • Inc.Russia has special sections for business ideas (‘To invent’) and successful startup stories (‘To take up’).
  • Spark is an online platform for small business communication and exchanging experience. This is where one can find advice or even partners.

Major Events, Festivals Or Conferences:

  • Open Innovations Startup Tour is organized every year to find promising projects in different cities of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Participants attend workshops, make appointments with mentors and investors and compete for receiving an invitation to Startup Village.
  • Startup Village is an international yearly technological conference for investors, startups, and innovators taking place in Skolkovo . In 2017 the event is planning to attract more than 20,000 participants with 4,000 startups and 1,500 investors.
  • Open Innovations Forum takes place every autumn and is aimed at promoting technological development, enhancing collaboration in innovative business and exchanging experience.
  • Russian Internet Forum and the Conference of the Internet and Business is the major event in the sphere of digital communications in Russia. It is traditionally held as a three-day activity taking place in a holiday residence near Moscow where participants share their views on the development of the Russian digital industry and the Russian Internet.
  • Startup Cup Russia is a part of the global Startup Cup Competition. Projects participate to get feedback from mentors, consulting assistance and financial support.
  • The Startup Of The Year Award from RosBusinesConsulting (RBC) is given to the best projects chosen by both, open public vote and experts’ opinion.
  • The Higher School of Economics holds its’ own Startup Of The Year Award ceremony. They elect best companies in 4 categories: FinTech, hardware, socially important project and global project.

Volunteering Possibilities:

  • Mosvolunteer is an organization connecting managers for meetings, conferences, etc., and those willing to participate in preparation and holding of the events. Mosvolunteer sometimes needs volunteers for business events (Startup Village in 2015 was held with their help ).
  • Check the official pages of the events if you want to attend, they often seek volunteers and publish all the information for possible participation.

Volunteering is quite a common type of collaboration in Moscow so never hesitate and offer your help to event managers or startup founders (even if they don’t look for volunteers, try writing them a letter). People of the sphere will appreciate your determination and interest in their activity.

Choose One Of Moscow’s Coworking Spaces

The Complete Moscow Startup City Guide

As renting an office can turn out to be expensive for small companies (frankly speaking, Moscow is an expensive city not for small companies only), coworking spaces are very popular with startup founders. Residents appreciate the variety of services, round-the-clock access, pleasant atmosphere and the community of creative people that can be found in coworking spaces.

  • #tceh is not simply coworking – it is a place for business courses and useful contacts as well. Founders sometimes meet their investors there or use it as ‘feedback’ facility to discuss their projects with experts. What is more, #tceh enjoys the collaboration with Fund for Internet Initiatives Development .
  • StartHub is a coworking center located in one of the creative centers of Moscow – ‘Flacon’ design-factory. The venue is very popular with artists, designers, and filmmakers because of its’ unusual atmosphere of a former factory. ‘Flacon’ is a symbol of creativity and new approaches towards a common process. A swimming pool, a canteen, and a fitness center are located close to StartHub.
  • Coworking 2.0 was created for both freelancers and young projects. Depending on each resident’s needs, this place offers different sets of services (for instance, a resident can rent a working space for 24/7 access during a whole month or make several reservations for the meeting room only) which allows to be economical and not to pay for unneeded facilities.
  • Work Station has several venues in Moscow. The most famous of them is located at Gorky Park and in summer they open terrace for residents. Another center of Work Station, the biggest of all, is located on the Dmitrovskaya metro station and has a capsular hotel and free breakfasts.
  • Arma Coworking holds business meetings and lectures. Residents can choose to rent a mini-office or simply use the coworking space. Arma is proud of the atmosphere of the place created by the local architecture, residents, and staff.
  • DI Telegraph Coworking is located in the very center of Moscow on Tverskaya Street and has many successful VC, media, IT, and educational projects among its residents.

Get Investment In Moscow

The Complete Moscow Startup City Guide

Moscow enjoys the role of the financial center so many companies and private investors do business here. Besides, government and commercial organizations are interested in innovative projects and create special supporting programs. There are many possibilities to get investment at any stage of the project development.


  • The Higher School of Economics Business Incubator provides two types of programs for startups. Residential program HSE{pro} offers working space and assistance from tax advisory to PR-support. It has been the starting point for successful Russian startups (for instance, TimePad ). The educational program HSE{goods} was designed for those planning to open a social business project. It can help even if the idea of the project is not yet clearly articulated. The fees for incubator services can be delayed in case the resident is a HSE employee or student. HSE itself is known for reinforcing the collaboration between the scientific community, business and government.
  • The Plekhanov Russian University of Economics Incubator supports business teams at early stages or helps realize elaborated ideas in IT, new materials, gadgets, smart house systems and robotics. University students and graduates should represent at least 50% of the team to enter the incubator.
  • Strogino TechnoPark is the venue for innovative projects at any stage. It has coworking, pre-incubator and incubator programs and a prototyping center. Companies at the stage of expansion or growth can become residents of TechnoPark to construct laboratories or production. The major advantage of being a member of Strogino TechnoPark is gaining access to governmental support as the center is working in strong partnership with Business departments of Moscow authorities .
  • Branch Agricultural Business Incubator in Timiryazev Russian State Agrarian University provides agrarian innovative projects with laboratories, science research equipment and coworking spaces. It also attracts investment and expertise. By the end of 2016, there were many interesting projects among the residents of the center, for instance, an online shop delivering weekly sets of local farm products by subscription .
  • MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) created completely free incubator for students and graduates. The program has already helped several companies to successfully enter the local market; one of them is Octa Smart Food, the products of which are now sold online and in several stores in Moscow.


  • SKOLKOVO Startup Academy is an educational facility for founders at any stage. There will be lectures, meetings with business coaches and opportunities to find investment. Entering the community of Skolkovo can be very beneficial as funds, laboratories, consulting services, educational centers and many other business facilities are located there.
  • Future Fintech offers an acceleration program for startups in financial and blockchain technologies, information security, payment instruments, banking and insurance services. They are looking for projects introducing software, marketing, technical or analytical products. Future Fintech attracts practicing specialists in the field to collaborate with residents’ projects and helps to find financial support.
  • Internet Initiatives Development Fund offers an accelerator program for IT-companies that already have created a product and started sales. Each team will come through individually focused consulting services working full-day in the accelerator space. After the program is done, the best companies will have an opportunity to participate in a Demoday and present their products before potential investors and partners. Participants can choose to pay for the program or to give a share in their company as payment.
  • GenerationS is an accelerator program containing several stages from online pre-accelerator to final competition of all participating projects. The results of the pitch session at the competition define the best companies, which then share Grand Prix fund (the fund is said to constitute 15 million rubles or about 242.000 EUR). GenerationS welcomes participants from many fields of innovations: smart city, creative industries, life science, finance and banking technologies, etc.
  • Disruptive has been created by MetaBeta founder and ex-CEO, Dmitry Maslennikov after MetaData founders decided to work separately in 2016. The new program is considered to be more than an accelerator. Though Disruptive doesn’t provide investment, it offers startups help with finding the needed specialists, a marketing strategy or anything the project misses. The company also hires people willing to bring powerful startups to life.
  • Territory is accelerating program in the sphere of production which gives access to an ecosystem consisting of an accelerator, a design center and an investment company. The goal of Territory’s activity is to help implement manufacturing innovative ideas in prototypes and small-scale production, with an eye to further large-scale production and sales.

Grants & Subventions:

  • Innovation Assistance Fund provides investment for research and implementation of innovations. Their Umnik program offers the opportunity to get grants (up to 500.000 RUB or about 8000 EUR) for young scientists developing ideas for projects in IT, medicine of the future, materials, apparatus and bio. The Start program supports startups at early stages. New innovative companies can obtain up to 5 million rubles (80.000 EUR). The supporting plan consists of two parts and two years: during the first year, a team completes research in their field and then, during the second step, the project can receive part of needed investment from the Innovation Assistant Fund (in case the team manages to find some other sources as well).
  • The Skolkovo Fund Granting Program offers many investment opportunities. The preferred fields of projects are energy preservation and efficiency, nuclear technology, space technology and telecommunication, biomedical technology, strategic computer technology and software.
  • The Moscow State Department of Science, Industrial Policy, and Entrepreneurship has created a lot of possibilities for small business development by providing subventions. Besides, there is a chance of getting a low-interest loan from the Venture Investment Development Fund for startups that already get finance help from a private investor. The amount of the loan can be up to two times the amount of the received private investment.
  • Innovative Entrepreneurship Support Fund of the Higher School of Economics holds yearly competitions for startup projects. There can be up to five winners and each can get up to 700.000 rubles (about 11.000 EUR) to implement their ideas or be given consulting assistance from invited experts.

Crowd Investing Platforms:

  • Planeta.ru , by its’ own estimation, has helped to collect more than 589 million rubles (or more than 9.500.000 EUR) by March 2017 (the project started in June 2012). It is one of the earliest and most successful crowd funding platforms in Russia. The project now also provides PR, promotion and education services. Planeta.ru withholds from 10% to 15% of the successfully collected sum (except for charity projects when the fee is not taken).
  • BoomStarter is the crowd funding platform which helps to attract investment for new projects. According to BoomStarter’s rules, the goal of the money collection should be clearly defined and fit one of the 15 set categories created by the platform founders. The fee for the use of the service constitutes 5% of collected sum and is only charged if the needed sum was gained. Apart from the fee, payment systems would withdraw another 5% of the sum and the tax would be collected.

Angel Investors:

  • The National Business Angels Association unites Russian regional angels’ communities connecting startups with investors and helping to develop the venture investment industry in Russia.
  • The Private Capital National Business Angel Network helps to find finance and to organize the presentation of the projects for potential investors withholding 5% of the successfully invested sum.

Venture Capital Investors:

  • Internet Initiatives Development Fund selects best companies completing its accelerating program and provides an opportunity to get up to 25 million rubles (400.000 EUR) for project development.
  • Altair Fund invests in projects at early stages in mobile and IT spheres.
  • Moscow Seed Fund – a co-investment fund of Moscow, is providing additional finance for technology innovation projects in case they obtain support from other investors.
  • Starta Capital was founded in 2011 in Moscow and now also has a department and an accelerating program in New York. The company provides investment for technological projects.
  • The Untitled Ventures collaborate with cloud technology startups with an already elaborated product. The company has also created The Untitled club of private investors for co-financing projects.
  • Bright Capital is a venture capital company with the main focus on CleanTech, BioTech, IT, and telecom projects. Bright Capital supports projects from all over the world and invests at any stage of a company’s development.
  • Addventure Fund is the former holder of Delivery Club – a successful Russian startup project that introduced a platform for food delivery.

Other Investment Opportunities:

  • The Russian Venture Company does not invest itself but unites many venture investment providers from different spheres. A special form will help projects to find a fund among investors of RVC depending on the project’s field, goals and needs.
  • RusNano works as a co-investor, financing in high-tech production chains or technologies at early stages. The projects applying for support should be nanotech-related and Russia based.
  • StartTrack is a platform that helps investors in finding startups and helps projects in finding investment. The platform was created with the support of Internet Initiatives Development Fund . Using StartTrack is beneficial for both investors and startups as each new member of the platform is carefully checked. Entering projects should provide business development indicators and update them each month.
  • Pipeline is an online service of Rusbase that allows entering a network and finding an investor from the partners of Rusbase. The company also organizes meetings with investors in Speed Dating format which lets investors get to know several projects during one evening and gives startups a chance to be presented to many potential investors.
  • ToWave is one more online platform for investors and startups with many successful venture funds on the list of investors.
  • Start2Up is an advertising service bringing together those who need investment and those who look for a project or look for partners to start a new business. There are a lot of advertisements from different regions of Russia.

As one of Moscow startup founders said, “Despite the wide-spread prejudice, a project with a good idea would be able to find investment in Moscow”.

Seek Further Advice In Moscow

The Complete Moscow Startup City Guide

  • MSU Science Park provides assistance and consulting at any stage and lends spaces for technology innovations companies.
  • The Innovative Navigator around Moscow can help to find an incubator or learn about the support a new project can get from authorities.
  • Moscow Small Business web-portal can be useful for checking tax regime, possibilities for getting subventions and working spaces in Moscow. Moreover, the organization provides advisory for entrepreneurs concerning starting and running a business in the city.

So be brave and join the community of people breaking stereotypes. Moscow is a city that challenges you to make the world better and, as you see, the chance of improving the world is real!


The guides are like startup communities – they constantly change and grow. Make sure to check for updates and if you have something to add to one of them or want to publish one for your city, get in touch right away ! And don’t forget to enrich the startup ecosystem by creating your company profile at StartUs!

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A comprehensive guide to small business insurance: Here’s how to safeguard your company

insurance agency startup business plan

Starting your own business requires a significant investment of both time and money. Millions of people continue to step up to the challenge with 33 million small businesses active in the U.S. as of 2023. However, without a proper business insurance plan in place, you risk losing everything you worked so hard to build. 

According to a survey released by Next Insurance , 90% of business owners weren’t sure if they had adequate coverage. Worse, 29% had no business insurance coverage at all, leaving their business and investments vulnerable to natural disasters, theft or lawsuits.

Small business insurance provides critical protection for your business, but there are several different types of coverage. Understanding the options available and what to expect in terms of cost can help you find the right coverage for your business (and your budget).  

7 common types of small business insurance

A customer visits your store and slips and breaks his arm while browsing the store aisles. 

A fire breaks out and spreads to your warehouse, destroying your inventory. 

Or a thief breaks into the office and steals your laptop. 

Whatever the case may be, there are many unexpected and horrifying scenarios that can threaten your business. 

Like your personal car or homeowners insurance policy, small business insurance acts as a safety net for your business, protecting your business property and assets against common disasters or accidents. 

Whether you’re the sole employee of your own company or you have dozens of workers, your small business likely needs some form of protection. What kind of insurance your business needs depends on the type of work you do, the size of your operation and your location. These are some of the most common business insurance options:

Business owners policies (BOPs)

A BOP is actually an insurance package that combines several forms of coverage together, making it a simple option for small business owners. BOPs usually include general liability, property insurance and business interruption insurance. 

BOPs are often more cost-effective than purchasing each type of coverage separately, and you can customize your BOP with optional add-ons, such as cyber risk insurance or commercial auto coverage . 

General liability

General liability insurance protects you against financial losses that may result from bodily injuries or property damage that occur due to your business. For example, if a client is injured on your business premises, general liability coverage would help cover your legal bills, the medical bills of the affected person and any damages resulting from a lawsuit. 

Product liability

If you produce or sell products, product liability coverage protects you against losses that result from products that you make, distribute or sell. For example, if a customer needs medical attention after getting hurt by a product you manufactured, product liability insurance would help you with the legal and medical expenses. 

Professional liability 

Professional liability insurance covers your legal expenses and damages related to issues that result from your professional negligence or mistakes. 

Commercial property

If your business property, equipment or inventory is damaged by a storm, fire or theft, commercial property insurance will reimburse you for your losses. 

Home-based business

According to the Small Business Administration , more than half of all small businesses are home-based. If you run your business from your home, you’ll need separate coverage from your personal homeowners or renters insurance policy . 

Home-based business insurance provides added protection for your business equipment and supplies, as well as protection against liability issues that aren’t covered by your personal policies. 

Workers’ compensation

If you have employees, you’re usually required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation pays for your employees’ medical care and a portion of their wages if they’re injured or become ill while working. 

Other types of coverage

Beyond the seven main types of small business insurance, there are many other types of coverage. If your company works in particular industries or has specialized needs, you may need additional insurance. Some common add-ons include: 

  • Business interruption: If your business were forced to close due to a covered reason, such as storm damage, business interruption coverage will help cover your lost income. 
  • Commercial auto: If you have vehicles that you use for your business, including delivery trucks, you’ll need a separate commercial auto policy. 
  • Cyber liability: For businesses that sell or store customer information online, cyber liability insurance is a must. If your information — or your customers’ details — are compromised, cyber insurance covers the costs of system recovery efforts, notification expenses, fines and identity theft protection for your affected customers. 

How to purchase small business insurance 

To purchase small business insurance, follow these steps: 

  • Think about what coverage you need: Consider what kinds of insurance you need. For example, if you have company vehicles, you’ll likely need commercial auto coverage in addition to general liability and professional liability policies. And if your business operates in areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as floods or earthquakes, you may need separate commercial policies for those issues too. 
  • Shop around: Prices can vary significantly by insurer. Many insurers allow you to request quotes for small business insurance online; enter information about your company’s age, revenue, industry and employees, and the insurer will give you an estimate for your desired coverage. 
  • Contact an agent or broker: Once you know what kind of insurance you need, you can reach out to commercial insurance brokers or company agents to get exact pricing details and purchase a policy. 

According to Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications with the Insurance Information Institute , a broker can be a valuable resource as you begin the process. 

“A qualified broker can help a business owner collect all the information they will need to apply for a policy, and help them comparison shop among several options and quotes,” he said. “Before hiring [a broker], we recommend reviewing the broker’s background and experience as well as the services provided and any fees charged.”

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a tool you can use to find insurance agents and brokers in your area. 

Small business insurance FAQs  

Do i need small business insurance if i’m just starting out.

Many people put off purchasing coverage because of the expense, but according to Chris Rhodes, chief insurance officer of NEXT Insurance, that mindset could be a costly mistake. 

“Purchasing insurance should be one of, if not the first, things on your checklist as a new business owner,” he said. “Regardless of revenue or investment level, having insurance is crucial for protecting your future livelihood.”

At a minimum, simple BOP coverage or other basic forms of coverage are a good starting point. 

“As a rule of thumb, small business owners should purchase general liability or professional liability coverage as a first line of defense,” Rhodes said. 

How much does small business insurance cost?

The cost of small business insurance depends on several factors, including your company’s location, size and industry. BOP coverage, which bundles common insurance types onto one simple policy, typically costs between $40 and $170 per month.

What factors affect small business insurance costs?

Several factors affect cost, including: 

  • Service or product provided: Certain industries or business types, such as those in construction or transportation, are more likely to be involved in accidents, so premiums tend to be more expensive to offset the higher risk. 
  • Location: If you live in an area with a high cost of living or with a higher-than-average crime rate, your premiums will typically be higher. 
  • Size: If you have employees, your premiums will be much higher than that of a business owner who is a solopreneur. The larger the company, the more expensive your premiums will be. 

Does my state require business insurance?

If you have employees, federal law requires you to have workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance. But in some states, certain professions have additional insurance requirements. 

For example, in Colorado, physicians are required to have malpractice insurance. In Oregon, 

lawyers must maintain malpractice insurance with the state Professional Liability Fund. 

Visit your state professional association or regulatory commission to find out what coverage you’ll need. 

Do freelancers need business insurance?

Freelancers can benefit from business insurance, even if they don’t work in-person with customers. Basic coverage, including professional liability coverage, can protect against issues like lawsuits over mistakes or errors. 

The takeaway  

To ensure your business isn’t stalled or disrupted by weather, theft, accidents or lawsuits, small business insurance is a crucial purchase. As you begin shopping for insurance, request quotes from leading small business insurance companies . 

“As a general rule,” Friedlander said, “small business owners should get business insurance quotes from at least three different companies.”

Shopping around will help you find the best coverage at the lowest rate.

EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE : The advice, opinions, or rankings contained in this article are solely those of the Fortune Recommends ™ editorial team. This content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of our affiliate partners or other third parties.


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